9 minutes reading time (1774 words)

Gracious speech seasoned with salt

Colossians 4:6 (Apologetics)

“Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”

I was heading into the mall the other day when I heard a bright female voice behind me say quite loudly, and clearly, that she had always wanted to go (F-bomb) eat at that (F-bomb) restaurant.  I couldn’t help but react and turn around to see a young and attractive woman pointing to the restaurant – and a pack of young kids running up behind her.  Then one of them said, “Wait up, mom….”

I could hardly believe that the words I had just heard were coming from a young mom saying it loudly – and especially right in front of her own young children.  I work from my home so I don’t hear this filth unless I go out.  I’m just amazed how that particular word is now used as just an ordinary expression.  It seems young and old alike see no harm in expressing thoughts and words of the vilest sort. I’m even seeing it crop up in Facebook, even among those who claim to be children of the Highest.  Or some are even spreading “humor” or words that are laced with uncouth thoughts and words from the toilet.

Children of God, that simply must never be the case among the Household of God.  We are all being called OUT of this world into HIS kingdom, His Way, HIS words, His manner – and that includes our Father’s graciousness and civility. We’re either a part of Him or we’re not. If we’re a part of Abba’s way, we ask for him to cleanse our hearts and minds and tongues of the lack of civility, crassness, crudeness and toilet humor we see ever more of.

I used a similar “bad word” once in my mama’s hearing, (oh how I wish I knew beforehand that she was in the general area!) when I was about 10 years old or so, and I will never forget my mom literally sticking a bar of soap in my mouth as she assured me she never ever wanted to hear her son use such awful language; language unbecoming to a child of Holy, Holy, Holy God.  I will never in all my life forget the talking to I got that day!

A little seasoning, a little salt, makes otherwise unattractive food taste better. Gracious speech is the same.  In this age of crude F-bombs spoken with impunity, we who are of the household of Abba must remember whose family we’re a part of:  be gracious, be clean, be uplifting.  Many of us, myself certainly included, have “lost it” at times and spoken hurtful words in anger or words we wish we could reach out and throw into the garbage, where they belong.  No doubt some of us have had times when we lost our temper, said mean things, spoken uncouth words or discussed and joked about issues that were not gracious, and were not reflective of the holy, holy, holy Father we have.  We represent His family, his kingdom.  We must wash out our mouths with the soap of God’s word and deep repentance – and grow ever more like him in thought, word and deed until people see more and more of Yeshua (Jesus) in our lives.

I’ve been mean-tongued at times in my life. There, I’ve said it. I’m committed to – for the rest of my life -- surrendering all that to my gracious Savior so He can give me His new heart first – and then my tongue will be clean, holy and gracious too.   I wish to surrender my tongue that once was quick to have the witty-but-painful come-backs and graciously accept the new tongue that will heal and encourage.  But first“cleanse the inside of the dish and then the outside will be clean also” (Matthew 23:26).  First ask for the new clean heart Yahweh has promised freely to the repentant – and from your new clean heart, clean and gracious words will flow, for from out of the heart flow all our words and actions (Matthew 15:18).  No more do we want words that break one’s hope and spirit – but words that rejuvenate those feeling weak, afraid, discouraged, despondent and faint.

Click on “Continue Reading” to read more of what Abba, our loving and HolyFather says about our words.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s not get used to hearing or speakingtrashy and ungodly speech. Let’s certainly never indulge in it. Let’s instead make a point to speak health and healing.  Why not make a point to write a short note, or to send an uplifting text, even if just to text your son or daughter – “Hey, kiddo—was just thinking how much I love you and am so proud of you. –Dad” – or something like that.  Or write an old fashioned card to that widow who just lost her husband of 50 years marriage. Your words will let her know she’s not forgotten in her pain, even weeks after the funeral.

Words seasoned with salt. Words that heal and encourage.

Why not post Colossians 4:6 as a post-it on your mirror.  When you feel angry and impatient, pause – speak to your heart that you’re not going to “let fly” with words that never should come out of your and my mouth. Instead, we’re going to say a blessing. We’re going to speak something gracious.  We’re going to uplift the hearer.  We’re going to say something sweet and kind that will leave those around thinking they’ve just heard something pure, noble, encouraging, strengthening;  hope-giving words. 

Remember this especially whenever our children and grandchildren are around. We will teach best by example. Let them see us overcoming our once impatient sharp-tongued words we used to be well-known for (I preach to myself).  Let them experience the warm heart, hope and encouragement that a carefully worded expression of Grandpa’s love can bring for them and others. And be quick to apologize when you do go too far in your words to such little ones. 

Especially when we’re stressed out, our words can break the spirit of our precious little ones or our lifelong spouse.  I almost did that a while back with my precious ones and God’s spirit in me shamed me. I had to, within 2-3 minutes, call them all over and ask their forgiveness as I assured them of my love. But better yet – let’s show them how a man or woman of God acts even in stressful times: speaking words seasoned with grace especially in those times! Yes, we can grow. We must grow, and demonstrate the right example.

Dads and moms, grandpas and grandmas, uncles and aunts – our words have lifelong power and consequences.  How I wish I could take back some rants and painful words I’ve spoken – especially those spoken in anger to those I claimed to love the most. 

Even your words can change the world, one life at a time.

We can change.  As the world’s tone and words turn ever more painful, as this world descends to lower and lower depths, let it not be so with us. Let’s focus on words that build up, expressions that produce a smile and good cheer; spoken words that revive a sad and broken heart.  Let’s speak concepts that lead people to glorify their Father in heaven.

Let’s start right at home. Start with your husband or wife. What can you say to her or him right now that you know would strengthen her/his heart?  Do it now. Don’t put it off.  A written note you know they’ll see can be even more powerful.  How about writing an old fashioned note for one of your grandsons or nieces and stick it in their suitcase or books. 

Even on Facebook and emails and conversation, when people hear your words or read your posts, may they leave feeling enriched, encouraged, well fed spiritually and leave as a better person because of your gracious words.

Speak to us, dear Abba, our gracious heavenly Daddy, 0ur God Most High. What do you wish us to hear from your heart?  Speak us your word, dear Abba, of how you want our tongue to speak. And we remember your Son is known as the Word.  How important words are to you, dear Abba. May we learn from you; change us, dear Father. 

     (All quotes below are from the Apologetics Study Bible.  Read Abba’s words carefully.)

Proverbs 15:4
The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 12:18
There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 10:19-21
When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.

The tongue of the righteous is pure silver; the heart of the wicked is of little value.

The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.

Proverbs 18:21
Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Ecclesiastes 10:12
The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him.

Luke 4:22What was said about Yeshua:
They were all speaking well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

Ephesians 4:29-30
“NO rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear.”

Matthew 12:34-37
“….For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. I tell you that on the Day of Judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Philippians 4:8
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”

Ask for more of His spirit, his heart, his mind, his words and his Way to fill you.  Fill your mind with His word and life as you study His WORD.  If we do, out of our hearts will come the glories of God. 

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