This morning in my Bible reading plan I was in Colossians for the New Testament portion. This epistle is so dense with instruction and nuggets of truth, that even though it is a very short book, it is not a “quick” book. It requires a lot of contemplation. At least it does for me. Chapter 4:5-6 especially stood out to me today:
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
As though seasoned with salt. That is an interesting phrasing. What do we know to be true of salt? I did some research about salt so as to better understand what the meaning could imply in the verse. Salt is essential for life (of a human body). Without salt, our nervous system and brain would cease to function. Salt is used to remove traces of water in aviation fuel, so it removes impurities. Salt is used as a preservative. It enhances the flavor of food as a seasoning. When rubbed in a wound, it stings but it also acts as a disinfectant to aid in healing. Salt is versatile and necessary. Here are some thoughts I have about how one could think about applying the concept of seasoning one’s speech with salt:
- Salt is essential for life If salt is required to sustain life, perhaps one could think of ways in which their speech would convey life-giving truth to the outsiders they speak with. Speaking about the Gospel.
- Salt preserves/removes impurities Dr. MacArthur in his commentary says this:”Believers speech should act as a purifying influence, rescuing conversation from the filth that so often engulfs it.”
- Salt stings a wound/promotes healing Dr. MacArthur says of this, that a believers speech should have an effect. I would add that when we convey truth to unbelievers, they often recoil from the sting of truth, but we know that this truth is the only truth that heals.
- Salt enhances flavor When we speak to an outsider, are they left wanting to know more? Do they feel drawn to what you are saying because it is interesting and thought provoking? Are they treated in a way that leaves them open to more interaction with you in the future?
- Salt is versatile and necessary Are you prepared, as a believer to give answer in any occasion as to your hope? Are you versatile, and able to meet a variety of people where they are at? The speech of a believer should be pointing lost people to Christ and delivering the Gospel. That speech is necessary and essential to everyone.
The best way to be prepared to know how to respond to each person, as the verse instructs, is to be regularly reading the Word, and to be regularly communicating with God in prayer. When this is a day in and day out routine, then a believer is always prepared. The Holy Spirit will teach you through the scriptures, and bring to mind truth you have read when you are interacting with unbelievers. He will prepare you and help you so stay close to Him.
Soli Deo Gloria!