LET YOUR SPEECH BE SEASONED
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
To credibly bring the gospel of Christ to others, the verse previous to the lesson text tells us to walk in wisdom - to conduct every facet of our lives, so that all people may see Christ in us, desire Christ in their lives, and through belief, repentance, confession, and baptism, become faithful members of His body. The lesson text is one of those tenets, which all Christians should incorporate in their everyday lives: let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
The use of grace in the lesson text, according to Strong's Dictionary, carries the meaning of "graciousness in manner or action." Christians are to be gracious in their manner of speech, which includes gratitude, joy, and liberality. Their conversation is to be gracious toward every man, not only to those within the body of Christ, but to those without His church as well. The things we say in the presence of others are never to be detrimental or destructive; rather our conversation is always to be beneficial and edifying. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph. 4:29).
In Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees for their evil speaking, we find a lesson for all mankind regarding their manner of speech. He warned for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt. 12:34b-36). Similarly Jesus taught His disciples that the mouth speaketh that which is of the heart (Luke 6:45).
Gracious speech, to be acceptable to God, must be seasoned with salt. Spiritually, this expression is not new to God's children. Under Old Testament law, God told the children of Israel that every meat offering shalt thou season with salt, ...and with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. If salt were lacking, their offering would not have been acceptable to God (See Lev. 2:12-13). Jesus referred to His disciples as the salt of the earth, good salt that had not lost its savor (See Matt. 5:13 & Luke 14:34). For the gospel message of Christ, as carried to the world by His disciples, to be believed, accepted, and obeyed, it must be savory. Like well-seasoned food, the word of God must taste good to those receiving it. Otherwise, it will be spit out like tasteless, or spoiled food.
The apostle Peter wrote, if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11a). As one teaches God's word, it is to be as the oracles of God, in the same gracious manner God, Himself, would plead with His lost children to "come home," to be with Him in heaven. Peter further tells us how we are to teach the gospel message to all people of the world. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Pet. 3:15). Here the word of God is seasoned with salt, when it is taught with meekness and fear.
People of the world, when presented with God's word, will have many questions; at times even objections. In order to be the salt of the earth, Christians must, at all times, and through study and prayer, be ready to teach the gospel message of salvation to all people of the world. We must be ready to answer all their questions, and overcome all their objections. This can never be achieved with condemning, prejudiced answers and replies. Meekness is necessary. Christian teachers are never to be inclined to anger and resentment, but are to demonstrate a meek nature through a humble, patient, and mild attitude.
As we talk to others about the hope of salvation, do we find rejection? If so, maybe our speech is harsh and without graciousness. Even though our message is true, our manner of teaching may cause it to fall on deaf ears, and make it unacceptable and worthless. Maybe our speech is not with grace, seasoned with salt. As we bring the gospel of Christ to others, maybe, just maybe, rejection is not due to the message, but due to the manner the messenger presented it. Know this for sure, to be an affective teacher of God's word, let your speech be seasoned!