In today’s age, we take for granted, the commodity of salt. Our fast-food diet has more-or-less become saturated with so much salt, sugars and unwanted fats to excess that we now opt for products and diets branded as “sugarless,” “salt-free” and “low-carb.”
But salt has always been a natural mineral, as ancient as the earth itself. It has been used among other things, as a seasoning, a preservative (to keep meats for rotting) as well as an antiseptic. In the time of Jesus, salt was especially valuable. Roman soldiers were paid with salt (from which we have the word, “salary” in Latin, salarium) and we also have the phrase about a person “being worth his/her salt”, attributing to a person’s worth or value.
Imagine then, what it might mean for us today, that Jesus says to us:
You are salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. | Matthew 5:13-15
You are valuable. You are worthy. You are splendour, radiating God’s light. Stand firm, stand tall, in this confidence, that in God’s eyes, you are so wonderfully loved.
In Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration, we read that this confidence in oneself first, is what enables compassion for others, in what is called an “I-Thou” relationship:
An “I-Thou” relationship with another requires that we first have an intimate relationship with ourselves… Intimate relationships depend on an inner connection: to be in touch with another, I must be in touch with myself. On the other hand, it is primarily through relationships that we learn about ourselves. | Au, W. and Cannon, N. Urgings of the Heart (Paulist Press, 1995), p.119.
As challenging as it can be, we need to foster a culture and mindset of compassion, love and acceptance of oneself with and in all our flaws. No one is saying that we are perfect, or that we will always be full of flavour, vitality and richness at every moment. But through the grace and gift of our lives as God’s children, we are encouraged to accept ourselves as worthy salt, and to stand confidently in the goodness of God, as God has made us. Only then are we more able to be light that shines for others (Mt 5:16).
Do you see yourself as valuable?
Note internally, where there is any resistance or challenge, if any, at the thought of you being of great value. Bring this to God in conversation.