Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:5,6
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6)
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a terrible lie this is! Some of our greatest hurts come from the words of other people. It is not only the words themselves that hurt others but it is also the way we say them. We can come across mean spirited and cutting with our words and tones. I have been deeply hurt by things people have said to me and I am sure that you have been also.
No wonder we are told to “let your speech ALWAYS be gracious, seasoned with salt.” Notice the word “aways” in the passage. Even when we must confront someone, we are do it in a gracious way. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:5).
Read these words from Ephesians — “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:29,30). When we talk harshly to others, we grieve the Holy Spirit. Our words should build up others, not tear them down.
Our words and the way we say them matter to God. We must choose our words carefully and we must also strive to use the right tone when we speak them. We should never respond to others when we are angry or irritable. God wants us to be gracious, loving, thoughtful, and truthful when we speak.
Lord Jesus, grant me power to be gracious always in the way I speak with others. Let me choose my words carefully and let me speak them with the right tone. Let me speak the truth in love. Forgive me when I have said things that I should not have said. Forgive me, O Holy Spirit, for I know that I have grieved You with the harsh words I have said to others. Grant me grace to speak in a way that builds up others and not put them down.