Salt doesn’t announce its saltiness

Published 10:16 pm Friday, February 28, 2014

By Chris Surber

On a dusty hill in the Third World is a little woman cooking on a charcoal stove, cleaning the dirt floor of her house, scraping together a life for the people she loves.

She is doing it with a song in her heart and a word of praise to God for what little she has in her life. No one of any importance knows her name. No one will ever read the book of her life.


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But I’m certain it doesn’t matter to her. She knows nothing of these things and would surely care very little for them if she did. She glorifies God in her heart and praises him with her lips and her hands.

This woman isn’t fictional, but her name isn’t important to this story. She is my friend. My family and I love her. That’s enough for us. That’s enough for her.

She does what is right, because it is right. She is among the poorest of the poor, yet generous. She has nothing but would gladly give you what she has.

There is a Haitian Creole proverb that says, “Sel pa vante tèt li di li sale.” Salt doesn’t boast that it is salted.

We know salt is salty, because it tastes salty. We know of the saltiness of a Christian’s life, because it is obvious. There are a lot of folks today living salt-less lives, all the while announcing how salty they are. Their hands and hearts leave no salt behind, but their lips forever speak of it.

In all three of the Synoptic Gospels, some form of the following parable of Jesus is recorded. It was apparently a regular teaching of Christ. “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” (Luke 14:34-35 NLT)

It is better to follow Christ authentically in obscurity than to boasts of one’s outward appearance of Christ likeness publicly. It is better to do what is right in the eyes of God than to live for the applause of man. Many a handclap is offered outwardly with an inward sneer, anyway.

It is better to be brokenhearted for a broken world than stylishly proclaiming the goodness of God with a selfish heart. How much better it is to be hated by men and esteemed by God than to have the applause of the world as you smoothly slide proudly into an eternity without Christ, all the while praising a God you don’t know.

The greatest preachers are obscure men in remote villages who lack the connections, and likely the desire, to gain fame.

The saltiest saints have always lived in obscurity, because salt doesn’t announce its saltiness.

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at