“Sticks and stones my break my bones but names will never hurt me!” As children we have all recited those words to someone who may have called us a name or said something ugly about us. Unfortunately, that little saying isn’t true. Calling people names, and speaking words of anger, ill will, and even hate does hurt people.
The Apostle Paul told the believers at Colosse to “Let your conversation (speech) be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6). Our conversation or speech means exactly what is sounds like it means: any word uttered by a living person! It is anything reported in speech or conversation. According to Paul, as a believer, our speech should have two qualities:
1. Full of grace: Grace is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: It is a “grace of speech.” When we talk and converse with others our words should be words of delight, charm, and grace. Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful (good) for building others up according to their need that it may benefit those who listen.” Unwholesome talk is the opposite of graceful talk. Unwholesome is that which is identified as: 1) rotten, putrefied; 2) corrupted by one and no longer fit for use, worn out; 3) of poor quality, bad, unfit for use, worthless. Our conversation should never be “unfit” and “rotten.” It should always be full of grace!
2. Seasoned with salt: Seasoned means: 1) to prepare or arrange, with respect to food. 2) to season and make savory. Just like we spend time preparing to cook food so that it will taste good, we should also “prepare” what we are going to say so that it may “sound” good and be “received” well. Unfortunately, too many people shoot from the lip! when it comes to their words. The words come into their head and right out their mouth. Think about what you are saying. Is it helping? Is it building up? Is it beneficial? Does it meet someone’s need? Take the time to prepare and arrange your words so that it makes the situation better and more tasty if you will.
The purpose of salt is to keep things from rotting and becoming putrid. Seasoning our words with salt, will make the situation better and keep it from deteriorating and rotting. Let’s face it, salt just makes green beans taste better! Our speech should make things taste better not bitter!
The Purpose of Our Speech
Our words do matter! Be careful with your words, use them to help and“To know how to answer everyone.” 1 Peter 3:15-16: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and , keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” If anyone is going to be ashamed let it be those who speak slander against you, and not the other way around.