Please Pass the Salt
Why we need salt
Salt is used to make tasteless food taste good. Salt is about the other. No one confuses salt with food. Salt is seasoning. Its purpose is to help us enjoy the food, not itself.
Qualities of salt and good leadership
Like good leadership, salt doesn’t bring attention to itself. In fact, when you notice that food is salty, that’s not a good thing. It’s a sign that the food has been over salted. The same is true for the kind of leadership I am calling us to today. It doesn’t call attention to itself. If it does, something has gone wrong. Instead, good leaders draw attention to those they lead. Salt is about the goodness of the other. Salt brings out the flavor in food. Salt’s magic brings out the goodness in what otherwise might remain tasteless.
Bringing out the best in individuals
In the same way, we are meant to bring out the best in others. Leadership is meant to enable people to be the best version of themselves. Leadership that only brings out mediocrity or worse in others is sub-human leadership. Salt makes different kinds of food taste different, not the same. Salt doesn’t make steak taste like chicken. It helps great steak to taste like great steak. And it helps great chicken to taste like great chicken. Salt has the remarkable capacity to bring out the unique created goodness of each food it seasons. So it is with good leadership. Good leaders bring out the best in others in ways that are unique to who they are. God has created each person to be uniquely themselves. And as leaders we need to cultivate, to the best of our abilities, the unique goodness of those we serve.
Light up the corner where you are
Like no generation before us, both our planet, our families, our communities and our friends need us to be “worth our salt.” If we do not heed this call, we are useless and the world around us will remain “tasteless.” The other image Jesus painted for us appears in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Being labeled as “the light of the world” isn’t just a fancy title or a nice-sounding phrase. Instead, it’s to be a description that affects every aspect of how we live our lives. Christians are called out of this dark world, and we are to walk “as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). We are to have nothing to do with the darkness and evil, the bad things that dwells in the surrounding world. Our light has to shine brightly, regardless of the situation. Our light has to shine brightly and show people the ways of our God. Our light should positively impact those who are around us. Our example can have a great impact on people who quickly pass through our lives. Our personal lights may be small and not very far-reaching, but they can be bright. Those within our sphere of influence should be positively influenced and shown a part of God’s character through how we live.
Part two of Mr. Okidia’s sermonette to Senior School students