How are you? We seem to be on a “salt theme” on the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. I hope you are enjoying it. We have talked about learning from Lot’s wife (who as we know was turned into a pillar of salt) as well as being the salt of the earth. Today, we are furthering our discussion of salt and how it relates to speaking.
Do You Have Trouble Knowing What to Say or How to Say it?:
Have you ever had times when you haven’t known what to say to someone? Maybe during an argument and someone takes a jab at you, you want to “come back” with a statement of your own. You know that you aren’t supposed to be mean, even if others are mean to you. Yet, you just don’t want to leave it. You want to say something. Maybe you are trying to explain something and just don’t know how to get your point across. Maybe you need to tell someone something very important, but not quite sure how to get your message out.
If you have trouble knowing what to say or how to say it, you are not alone. It can be difficult for most of us at times. For, example, I don’t like conflict. When someone says something against me, I have a difficult time knowing what to say, how to say it, or if I am even supposed to say anything at all. Do I ignore it? Do I stand up for myself? I am sure the answer to this is different in each circumstance and for each person. I just know that my first reaction is often to feel uncomfortable. This is not what we are called to do by the way.
The Worldly Attitudes about What to Say and How to Say it:
It probably doesn’t help that the worldly views and attitudes about what to say and how to say it seem to bombard us from such a young age. As far back as I can remember, there was a saying that I heard in school that went like this: “Anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” Now, this may seem like an innocent enough way to react. After all, if you say that, you aren’t coming right out and calling the other person what they just called you. You didn’t say the same mean words. Yet, in reality, you are saying the same thing. You are saying and wishing whatever mean thing someone said to you back to them.
Worldly thinking when it comes to speaking or talking with someone is often “tit for tat” or “jab them before they get a chance to jab you”. Sometimes it is more like “the one who speaks the loudest wins”. However, this is not what we are called to do. We are not called to worldly ways in speaking, or in anything else.
How are We Called to Speak?:
So, how are we called to speak? Let’s start by looking at Colossians 4:6 to answer that question. The beginning part of Colossians 4:6 (KJV) says, “Let your speech be always with grace”. It doesn’t say, “Be nice when others are nice and be mean when others are mean.” It says, “Let your speech be always with grace”.
We are called to speak with kindness in our heart. When someone says something mean to us, we are called to speak to with grace. We are called to be kind and forgiving.
It might be difficult at times to understand why we are called to always speak with grace, but I think we can understand what it means to speak with grace pretty well. However, the second part of Colossians 4:6 (KJV) which says, “seasoned with salt”, might be a little bit harder to understand. What are your thoughts on this?
As I was thinking just now and God gave me a thought about how we say, “that leaves a bad taste in my mouth”. We need to speak in a way that doesn’t “leave a bad taste in the mouth of others”. We need to speak in a way that leaves a savory taste in the mouth of others. We need to speak in a way that encourages others in godly ways.
It also means that we need to be prepared to answer the why of what we are saying at times. We can’t just say, “because, I said so” and expect that everyone is going to be okay with that. I mean, “who are we”, right?
Why We are Called to “Speak with Grace” and “Seasoned with Salt”:
Let’s take a few minutes to think and talk about why we are called to speak “always with grace” and “seasoned with salt”. First of all, we are called to speak in that way, because our God told us that is His will for us. Yet, just as there were practical reasons for Paul to say it to those in biblical times spreading God’s Word, there are also practical reasons for us as well. Most of them are the same practical reasons.
People are less likely to listen to us, if we have a bad attitude while we are speaking. Who wants to listen to someone when they are being rude, sarcastic, and condescending or yelling and snickering? We also do want to be “in their face” or expect them to understand right away where we are coming from, especially if we don’t want to take our time to understand from where they are coming.
Yes, it might be difficult to speak to others “with grace” and “seasoned with salt” if they have treated us badly. And, no, there is no more excuse for them to treat us badly than we have to want to repay their bad behavior likewise. However, that is why we are called to speak to them with grace. People may be having a bad day or be hurt themselves and lashed out without thinking. We don’t know. We would want others to give us a break and treat us with grace during such times, right? So, we are called to treat others, as we would want to be treated. (i.e.- Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31)
We God's ambassadors on earth and we are called to be role models for unbelievers and new Christians. If we speak harshly, criticize others, or speak in a way others can't understand, what kind of motivation is that for others to get closer to God. After all, if we proclaim to be godly people and treat others horribly, why would anyone else be interested in being godly? However, if we speak with kindness, grace, truth, love, encouragement, and in a way that they can understand, they will be much more likely to want to be more like us and get closer to God themselves.
How Do We Speak “with Grace” and “Seasoned with Salt”?:
Sometimes it is easier said than done. So, how do we speak “with grace” and “seasoned in salt”? It helps to know how we are to respond. Reading God’s Word and knowing how to speak is helpful. By reading God’s Word, we also know that we are not always called to come up with the words. For example Mark 13:11 (KJV) says, “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”
If we are having a difficult time with the words we should speak, we can turn to God. His Holy Spirit will give us the words we seek. This is great motivation for not speaking too hastily. Instead of speaking before we think, we can pause not only to think but to pray as well. Taking that quick minute to pray before we speak could make the difference between speaking with grace and speaking in anger or in foolishness.
To me, the Bible is a great example of speech that is “seasoned in salt”. Have you ever notice how the different books in the Bible are written in such a way that the particular readers would understand? Most of the authors in the Bible “knew their audience”. They could write and speak in a way that would have meaning for their readers. More so, they could write and speak in a way that would encourage their readers to follow God’s will and to take it as truth.
When Paul wrote the words in Colossians 4:6, he was giving direction to early Christians working to spread the gospel. He was giving good advice on how to speak, so that others would be more likely to listen and accept what they were saying. For example, Luke does this when he wants to “prove” to his readers that Jesus is the Messiah. He knew that his audience was big on ancestry and that they were expecting to the Messiah to come from the “house of David”. So, Luke gives his readers Jesus’ earthly genealogy. (Luke 3:23-38)
God’s Word as a whole is great at inspiring us and encouraging us to follow God’s will and plan for us. We don’t always follow through, just as our listeners don’t always heed us when we speak. However, in God’s Word, the encouragement and inspiration are there.
Thank you for your wisdom, your love, and your Word. Thank you for telling us the way we are called to speak. Help us to turn to you in knowing what to say and how to say it. Help us to "speak with grace" and "seasoned with salt" even in the most difficult of times. Help us to treat others as we would like to be treated and to encourage others in your Word, so we can be your helpers in spreading the gospel and enlarging your kingdom. We ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.