Rudeness, crudeness, and outright lies are what I hear daily in the words spoken within the arenas of government, politics, show biz venues and the public square.
What does the Bible have to say about the speech of a child of God? In his letter to the Colossians, the members of the church that he had formed in the city of Colossae, the apostle Paul has straight-forward advice. He says the words which come out of our mouths should be full of grace and sprinkled with salt. What does that mean?
For our speech to be full of grace we first have to understand God’s grace. God’s grace through Jesus Christ is unconditional love, love which we don’t deserve but love that will always be with us no matter how badly we mess up. If we understand how great a gift to us God’s grace is, we will want to extend our grace towards others. One way we do this is by speaking civil, truthful, edifying words in measured tones even if we are tempted to argue, be malicious, gossip, get even, or be reckless with the truth.
And what qualities does salt give? Salt gives a pleasant taste, turns something bland into something appetizing. And it preserves. Our language should be an appealing invitation to righteousness, meaning an invitation exhibiting the goodness of God. Also when we sprinkle our words with salt we are preserving language which displays morality, fairness and justice instead of speech which is rotten and decaying.
The second part of the verse, “so you may know how to answer everyone,” is Paul’s directive that we always be prepared to give a rationale of our spiritual faith in the way he advised.
Read and memorize Paul’s directive in your chosen language so you may repress your temper and give a positive witness to the spirit of the Lord that is within you.
English: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV 11 (Holy Bible New International Version 2011)
Français: Que votre parole soit toujours accompagnée de grâce, assaisonnée de sel, afin que vous sachiez comment il faut répondre à chacun. Colossiens 4:6 LSG (Bible Segond 1910)
Español: Sea vuestra palabra siempre con gracia, sazonada con sal, para que sepáis como debéis responder a cada uno. Colosenses 4:6 RVR1960 (Biblia Reina Valera 1960)
Deutsch: Eure Rede sei allezeit lieblich und mit Salz gewürz, daß ihr wißt, wie ihr einem jeglichen antworten sollt. Kolosser 4:6 DELUT (Lutherbibel 1912)