Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 KJV)
How do you season your speech? Are your words sweet, like honey, or spicy, like Tabasco? If you had to take them back, how would they taste? Would you be able to eat your own words, or would they be bitter to your belly?
How do we respond, when the words that we hear are as sharp and cutting as razors and when the voices all around us seem to always be raised against something, or someone, or some way of thinking or expressing who we are and what is most important to us, our families, our communities and our nations?
Vine’s Bible Dictionary of Words says that, “Being possessed of purifying, perpetuating and antiseptic qualities, ‘salt’ became emblematic of fidelity and friendship among eastern nations. To eat a person’s ‘salt’ [is] to share his hospitality…in Scripture it is an emblem of the covenant between God and His people…so when the Lord says, ‘Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another’ (Mark 9:50), in the Lord’s teaching it is also symbolic of that spiritual health and vigor essential to Christian virtue and counteractive of the corruption that is in the world.”
When the words that we hear, and even the words that we speak can cause wounds, how do we apply salt to those wounds for healing, rather than using words to cause further pain?
In the ancient world, salt was difficult to come by, necessary for life, and therefore extremely valuable. People who did their jobs well were said to be “worth their weight in salt” and people of high standing were seated “above the salt” at banquets, at the position of greatest authority.
James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, impartial and sincere” (James 3:15 ESV). The Word of God is compared to salt, to honey and to fresh-flowing, cleansing water. It is the wisdom from above, and it is the pearl of great price that is valuable beyond measure.
When we, as followers of Christ, apply the principles that we are taught by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God to every conversation and every situation that we encounter as we walk through this world day to day, and we let our speech be always with grace and seasoned with salt, then we will know how to answer every person, in every circumstance.
Regardless of the political climate that we find ourselves in – regardless of who is mayor, or governor, or senator, or president, or minister or king, the leadership of this world cannot be perfect, until the time when the King of kings and Lord of lords returns, to lift up all government upon His shoulders.
Therefore, rather than pointing fingers at each other, let us remember to point each other toward our Wonderful Counselor and the Shepherd of our Souls, Jesus Christ, so that we may, as far as it depends on us, live at peace with all people. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, and our battle is not against flesh and blood, but with belief systems and attitudes that have not yet encountered the antiseptic and healing power of God’s Word, spoken by His Holy Spirit through His people, who we are, as His ambassadors on earth until He comes.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? (Matthew 5:13a KJV)
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV)