Friday, March 10, 2017

Seasoning Our Speech

Chuckle: "Why do people keep running over a thread a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?"
Good Quote: "The things I say today in memory's book I'll keep, And when I'm old and read them, will I laugh or weep." --Unknown source

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Colossians 4:6 NIV).
The Bible has a lot to say about speech. Here, seasoning our conversation with salt, may sound a little strange at first brush. However, when you stop to think about the various uses of salt, the reason Paul uses the metaphor becomes clear. Salt adds flavor, preserves, and purifies. Paul is saying our speech should be pleasant to hear (flavorful), be of lasting value (preserving), and truthful without exaggerations or distortions (pure) so that it will be readily received.
Seasoned language is mature, thoughtful, and helpful to the ones to whom we are speaking. Our words should give hearers something of lasting value that will be of benefit to them now and in the future. Wholesome words will come from a wholesome mind and heart. Words chosen carefully, and full of grace and concern for others, will always build people up and never tear them down.
As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to help us choose and season our words by not only guiding us in what to say but how to say it. This truth is born out by Jesus Himself as he taught His disciples how to respond to critics of their message. "The right words will be there. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when the time comes" (Luke 12:12 MSG). If we have faith and trust the Holy Spirit, He will give us the right words that will enrich the lives of those to whom we speak.
This lesson should remind each of us to choose our words with care and depend upon our Lord for wisdom in understanding the lasting impact of our words. Paul is telling us to always take the high road when we are speaking, with the goal of edifying others. Our speech is a great indicator of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Gracious speech shows that we are more concerned for others than for ourselves.
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not control his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless" (James 1:26 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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