You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. (Matthew 5:13)

Yesterday, we prayed that we would shine light into dark places—that we would not hide our light under a basket but let it shine before all men. Today we consider the verse immediately preceding the one we prayed yesterday and pray that we would be the salt of the earth.

Salt’s primary purpose in the ancient world was as a preservative—it prevented decay and corruption in the food to which it was applied. However, if it became contaminated, it would cease to serve that purpose. Craig Blomberg writes,

Christians must permeate society as agents of redemption…. to arrest corruption and prevent moral decay in their world. … Believers who fail to arrest corruption become worthless as agents of change and redemption. Christianity may make its peace with the world and avoid persecution, but it is thereby rendered impotent to fulfill its divinely ordained role. It will thus ultimately be rejected even by those with whom it has sought compromise.

Pray that our desire to be active in our community would not lead to compromise. Pray that we would lovingly speak truth and truly express love. Pray that we would serve as a preservative for the community around us, arresting corruption and preventing decay. Pray that our community would be better off because we are in it.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6, NIV)