Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
I love smoked meat. Can I get a witness?! There is nothing like a nice rack of ribs or whole brisket right off the smoker that’s been there all day just soaking up all that smokey goodness. The best barbeque masters also know just how to season the meat so that it brings out all that juicy, savory, robust flavor. You can forget about them ever telling you what they use. It’s like a bunch of international spies, they can tell you but then they’d have to kill you!
Paul writes to the church at Colossae and he says we must learn to walk in wisdom toward outsiders. Specifically, he says that wisdom must come out in how we season our speech. Speech that is tainted with pride, judgment, and anger is repulsive and unpalatable for the lost person. However, speech that is seasoned just right with the correct amount of both grace and truth is what makes the difference. You and I are not going to win our neighbors and the nations to Christ with vitriolic language; yet sadly there are some Christians who think that is what we are called to do.
Here are some thoughts for how to speak to those in your neighborhood, workplace, and community who don’t know Christ. Stay away from political arguments. There is nothing wrong with sharing your opinion on something from a Christian point of view, but Paul says here to do it with grace. Grace means listening, and seeking to hear before you are heard. Secondly, choose never to attack people. For some reason we’ve bought into the idea in our country that personally attacking people and grade school name calling are the answer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our speech must be salty, there’s a preserving factor to it but it’s also a little softer on the palate than otherwise. Lastly, get to know someone before making your thoughts known. The old adage still holds true that nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Telling someone they have sinned and need Christ’s salvation is offensive enough (and we can’t back up on that by the way), there’s no need to just unload that on them without first seeking to gain some common ground. Let people know you care and you have a better chance of them listening.
Salty speech. We normally think that means something totally different than what Paul talks about here. Salty speech is gracious speech. Today, let your speech be well seasoned with grace and truth. Walk in wisdom. You never know who might be on the verge of coming to Christ.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, it’s so easy to speak in a way that doesn’t honor You. Today Lord, season my speech with Your grace. I want to share Your unchanging truth with a tone of grace. I don’t want those around me to die apart from You, so help me today to be a faithful witness. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.