Friday, November 14, 2008

Seasoned Speech

I awoke this morning with part of a Scripture on my mind: "Let your speech always be with grace. . ." I couldn't remember the rest of the verse or where it is found. After pulling out my handy, dandy noteb. . .er. . .Strong's Concordance, I found it in Colossians 4:6 and was very surprised at the rest of the verse, especially considering our time spent on "saltiness" this week.

"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with SALT, that you may know how you ought to answer one another" (Colossians 4:6).

I notice 3 things of importance in this verse.

#1 speaking with grace
In our everyday routines, surprise circumstances, time at home, or time away, our speech should be with grace. In my life experiences, I do not see how this way of speaking can be conjured up or brought about in our consistent lives by our own doing. Truly, this "habit" of always letting your words be seasoned with grace comes from the Holy Spirit. I know this is an area where I regularly submit to the Lord and ask His help in giving me words of grace. I want the words I choose and the way I say them to be covered in the grace of the Lord. Unfortunately, when I speak impulsively out of the flesh, impatience and irritation seem to season my words instead of the grace that so richly flows from the Spirit. (I do think there is a connection between this byproduct of the Spirit and the byproduct of "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" over at 1 peter 3:4; no, I won't be touching that one today or the day after or the day after. . . . :0) Lord, help my speech always be with grace; help me honor You.
#2 seasoned with salt
Isn't it interesting that the Lord refers to speaking with grace as "seasoned with salt." We know that in Matthew 5:13 and Luke 14:34, Christ encourages us to consider the worth of salt and its purpose. Our saltiness (also compared to a light) fulfills its purpose when our works or deeds glorify the Father:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Therefore, how we speak, if seasoned with grace, is just as important for a testimony to our Lord as our works or deeds.
#3 how you ought to ANSWER
Often, it is our reactions that get us in trouble more than our actions. Here the Holy Spirit is emphasizing "that you may know how you ought to answer each one." We should be careful and sensitive to the Spirit in our answers and reactions to others. Of course, this is not always so easy.
*Just mopped the floor and Little Sister drops a cup of milk.
*Middle Sister stumbles over the same words we've gone over and over and over. . .
*Big Brother begins to whine AGAIN about the silliest math problems.
*Bigger Brother plays ball in the house and breaks another light (2 days in a row)!
*Big Sister tells the details of the 13 hundredth dream this week (ok, I'm exaggerating a little).
All of these scenerios are simple, and a rational person would know OF COURSE the reaction should be patience, understanding, and grace. However, when we react in the flesh instead of in the Spirit we hear something other than speech with grace.
In addition, the preceeding verse in Colossians 4:5 refers to walking in "wisdom toward those who are outside," indicating non-believers. Remember, others are always watching, always listening. Many are suspicious and even eager to catch the Christian in another hypocrisy. Others are genuinely curious, wondering if we are the real deal.
We should be prepared to a be a witness for our Lord with our words, carefully measured and seasoned with grace.
In the Heart of our Home,

1 comment:

Mama Hen said...

Well, I personally love your speech, especially on Monday mornings when I'm trying to tame the Monday Madness!

You truly are an encouragement to me with your seasoned words.