"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."--Colossians 4:6(NIV)
All jokes aside, it really is an area that is worth considering. We live in an age in which emails and text messaging are the primary means of communication. Yet, we were created for dialogue, conversations, and mutually satisfying relationships. If our relationships are to be genuine and authentic, then our ability to speak meaningful words to one another is key. Whether you are loquacious and possess the "gift of gab" or are quiet and a man or woman "of few words", God has given us tools and biblical principles to build effective communication skills.
In a recent podcast (of the same title), I shared an experience in which I spoke harshly to a co-worker. Although she had needled me for weeks, my curt response to her constant nagging was inappropriate. I felt awful after the words had come out of my mouth. I could tell by the look of shock on her face that I had wounded her.
Oh, if only we could take back our words!
In this particular instance, I blew it; my conversation was not full of grace and seasoned with salt. I did not know how to answer or respond appropriately.
But, there is good news! Even when we really blow it or tank in the area of our speech and conversations, God, in his enduring mercy gives us another opportunity to get it right.
So, how do we get it right? We turn to his word. We are human, flawed, and depraved. Even in our best attempts to get it right, we will always fall short without the help, guidance, and promptings of Holy Spirit because all of our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We must invite God into our conversations and relationships. Having the mind of Christ shapes our thinking and thought life which thereby impacts our words and deeds. We can experience victory in our conversations. We can give an appropriate response. Our words can afford the hearer joy, pleasure, and delight. Our speech can exude wisdom and grace. We can discern, perceive, discover, and be quite skilled in understanding how to respond. But, it requires work. It's a spiritual discipline to daily walk in the precepts of scripture. It takes humility to pause in the spirit before we respond. It takes humility to ask God for wisdom and guidance on how to respond in any given interaction.
Word Study of Colossians 4:6
- Speech: (G3056) logos--words, declaration, sayings, conversation, discussions
- Grace: (G5485) charis--what affords joy, pleasure, delight, loveliness, good-will
- Seasoned: (G741) artyo--to prepare, to arrange, to make savory, full of wisdom and grace
- Salt: (G217) halas--wisdom and grace exhibited in speech
- Know: (G1492) eido--discern, perceive, understand, to be skilled in
- Ought: (G1163) dei--should, must, needs be
- Answer: (G611) apokrinomai--to begin to speak but always where something has precede (either said or done) to which the remarks refer
- Every: (G1538) hekastos--anybody
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for giving me the ability to speak words full of grace and salt. Forgive me for the times when my words have not been pleasing. I ask for your wisdom, help, instruction, and guidance in showing me how to respond to others in a way that brings your glory. Amen.
*** Word Study from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance***