Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]. (Colossians 4:6 Amp)
My friend once told me a trick he used to help him avoid eating all the food on his plate lest he over eat. He would open the salt shaker and pour salt over the remaining food. I’m not so sure it was a good plan. It may have solved the issue at the moment but what about the discipline it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, in part, the importance of following the teachings of Jesus. They were being lured into thinking that Jesus was not Lord and that He was insufficient. Paul had an interesting way of urging the Colossians to continue to believe in the lordship and sufficiency of Jesus. He writes,
“That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, “(Colossians 1:10-11)
There is a load of teaching in these scriptures but I will focus on one thought. Paul is talking about our conduct. Though we cannot, in any way, earn our salvation, we still must work out our salvation. (Philippians 2:12) We do this as a response to love, not as a requirement.
Now back to the opening text. “Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt…” For many of us, this can be very difficult. It will take discipline and not some trick to fulfill this request. But it is not impossible. Here are a few steps that will help you to be disciplined in your speech.
1. Think before you speak.
a)Ask yourself if the words you are about to speak are going to add flavor to the conversation or will you be dumping the whole salt shaker of salt on it. If you are dumping the all the salt, you will leave a bitter taste with someone.
2. Ask the Spirit to help you daily with your speech.
a)The Spirit is our Counselor. He will help you in your time of need and will show you your thought process. Your thought process precedes the words that you choose. When this is revealed, you then can work on changing your words.
3. Ask the Spirit to help you walk in love.
a)God is love. The more you are like Him the easier it is to respond in love.
Paul was trying to teach us that our words make a difference in how our testimony is perceived by others. Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, therefore we must decide, before we speak, how much salt to put in our every day conversation. “Next Level Thinking” disciplines us to think before we speak. Then we can make a choice of words before we open our mouth. Think of your mind as a salt shaker. Your mouth is the lid. Choosing the wrong words to speak is like opening the lid to the salt shaker and pouring out all the salt.
Ask the Spirit of God to show you the choice of words that you need to change in your thoughts and in your conversation.