I am one of those individuals who salt everything I eat, often before I have even tasted it. For me, salt just makes everything taste better. Seasoned food is something most people appreciate. For those who must eat a bland diet, the food is just not the same. Seasoned food makes a big difference.
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul encourages these new Christians to season their speech with salt. Paul invites his readers to let their speech be gracious. The dictionary defines gracious as, “courteous, kind, and pleasant.” (Colossians 4:6) Paul realized that words mattered and that our choice of words and the tone of our words can build others up as well as tear others down. Hence, Paul challenges Christians to speak with grace.
We need grace seasoned words in our society today. So much of our speech has become toxic, poisoning the streams of our conversations. Whether discussing politics, religion, issues of the day, and the like, we often choose words that lack grace. Rather, we opt to use words that divisive, negative, and destructive. Wars of words seem to break out daily in our families, businesses, schools, governing bodies, and even in our churches. In fact, it is perhaps most disturbing in the body of Christ because it stands in stark contrast to the way of Jesus and the way he calls his followers to live. A lot of what we say as Christians is lacking in grace.
However, words seasoned with grace tend to encourage, support, build up, and offer love to those who they are spoken to. Such words can be a healing force in a world where relationships are broken in so many ways. Words that are gracious will be forgiving and will seek to speak reconciliation among people. Such words seek to build bridges and not walls and will seek to unite rather than divide. Our words have power so we must use them wisely.
Unfortunately, in our modern society, social media has allowed us to speak in ways that we might not ever speak in open, face to face conversation. By not having to look at others in the eyes we tend to become much more careless and callous in the words we use. Or we often post someone else’s words with little thought of what the person said. We look for words that “pack a punch” rather than extend a hand. And as far as I can tell, we as Christians tend to speak much like others who claim no relationship to Jesus. It is easy to lose our way in this war of words.
We must seek, however, to allow our words to be shaped by the way of Jesus. What we speak should bear witness to the one we claim has seasoned our lives with grace. Otherwise, our words sound and taste like the rest of the world. Seasoned in grace, however, our words can be healing force in the world’s daily conversations.