“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6).
Salt is referred to several times in the New Testament. Though it is quite common today, it was considered a valuable commodity in ancient times and was even a form of payment in some cases (this is where we get the phrase, “worth his/her salt”). Salt was certainly used to add flavor, but its most important use was as a preservative—making sure food did not spoil before it could be prepared.
Jesus says we are to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16): those whose presence in the world prevents spoilage while reflecting the light of God’s love to all.
Paul writes in Colossians that when we enter into conversations, especially with those who are not part of the family of God, our interactions are to be “seasoned with salt” and “full of grace” (Col. 4:6). We are to speak (and act) in such a way that allows the grace of God to preserve opportunities to point others toward Christ.
Clearly, approaches such as having a judgmental attitude or entering “attack mode” over things like religion, politics, or other issues can cause interactions to spoil early! It is not that we are to avoid engagement in such conversations. Rather, our conversations about such matters are to be grace-filled.
We as Christians are called to present ourselves in such a way that demonstrates our desire to value people as God does.
The “salt” that we demonstrate preserves relationships and opportunities for further dialogue about matters that are eternal in nature. We often bear witness with our approach and our words long before we are ever able to bear specific witness to the good news of salvation and sanctification to others. Furthermore, how we interact with one another—especially in this age of instant social media—bears witness of our faith not only to other Christians, but also to unbelievers.
The goal is that those on the outside can, through our conversations with them and with each other, be able to say that we have fulfilled the admonition from 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
This week, can we examine how we interact with those who feel as if they are “outsiders” to the faith? Can we also monitor how we interact with all people, including the family God, in person, on social media, and through our intentional acts of love? In this way, the world will see that our faith is “worth its salt.”
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Lord, we who are divided, unloving, and prejudiced at times, ask that you make us united, loving, and open to learning. Amen. (from sojo.net)
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today