“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness..." (Matthew 5:13)

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." (Matthew 5:13)

What does 'salt of the earth' and 'saltiness' mean?

In this part of Jesus’ sermon - often called the "Beutitudes," Jesus speaks to his audience with an analogy comparing salt to our basic spiritual nature.

Jesus is comparing our spiritual composition to salt. Just as the earth and oceans are largely composed of salt, our composition is of spirit. Just as pure salt is salty, our pure essence is spiritual in nature.

Though our composition is spirit, living a spiritually oriented life is a choice. We can choose to live a spiritual life, or choose a life of self-centered materialism.

Our 'saltiness' can be lost if we reject our relationship with God in lieu of chasing self-centered, materialistic dreams. Chasing materialism effectively loses our spiritual nature through a focus on obtaining the temporary things of this world.

Jesus confirms this: "It is no longer good for anything ..." 

We can confirm this on a practical basis, because everything we achieve in the form of materialism is lost at the time of death.

At the time of death, we lose all the money we've accumulated. We lose our status, our fame, our positions - even our physical family. When we become disconnected from our physical body we also become disconnected from all our materialistic accomplishments.

Why do we lose these things?

Because we are not these physical bodies. These physical bodies are temporary and they are changing. They are made of atoms and molecules that are constantly undergoing change. Within five years we will recycle every atom and molecule. We will in effect, change bodies every five years.

Just take a look at one of your baby photos. Who is that in the photo? Is that you? It is a picture of a body, but that body is gone now. All the atoms and molecules are different from the body you wear today.

Who has survived through the changes in the body? It is the spiritual person within. We are each spiritual beings who are temporarily occupying a physical body.

This means our core nature is also spiritual not physical. This is why people are not satisfied by material things of this world. Because material things are not of the same essence we are.

If we act outside of our spiritual nature, we will not be acting within the context of our core character.

What is our 'saltiness' then?

Our 'saltiness' is our spiritual character. And the foundation of our spiritual character is to love and please the Supreme Being.

If we do not live our lives true to our character - if this character is lost somehow - then we suffer the consequences of constant loneliness, emptiness, and darkness.

We in effect, lose our natural position - our "saltiness" - because we are not exchanging love with our Best Friend and Soul Mate, the Supreme Being.