Are you the salt of the earth to others or just an irritation that your friends and family want to “wash off” as soon as possible? I fear too often I am the latter and I pray that the Holy Spirit would make me the former. Salt comes up several times in Scripture and is usually associated with three meanings: salt as seasoning, salt for cleansing, and salt as something that burns. (Examples Mark 9:49, Mark 9:50, Matthew 5:13, Ezekiel 16:4) What does this mean when we consider verse 6 in Colossians 4? We are to let our speech always be gracious. Yes, that makes sense. Seasoned with salt. Think about salt for a moment. We use it mainly to make things taste better. So we should choose our words wisely to make sure we are answering each person in an appropriate way that would “taste” good and leave them wanting to speak to you again. But we should also consider the other uses of salt. It is used to scrub and cleanse. That means sometimes our words should be graciously used to correct or lovingly reprove someone. And lastly we should consider that salt burns. It is said in Mark 9 “for everyone will be salted with fire.” Sometimes the things we say need to burn a bit. But again we need to be gracious in our speech even when we need to say something that may burn. On the flip side of that coin consider the next time you feel “salted” think about what God is trying to teach you. Be open to it. Be teachable. But above all be loving through all your answers.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~ Colossians 4:6