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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”—Colossians 4:6 (HCSB)
Do you know what’s awesome? Brazilian steakhouses! I absolutely LOVE going to an all-you-can-eat rodizio-style Brazilian churrascaria. So much steak, so much deliciousness. I love when the gauchos come by and slice juicy cuts of beef onto my plate, seasoned with generous amounts of rock salt.
Salt is truly vital when it comes to food. It brings out and greatly enhances the flavor, even in sweets. It’s also vital in the life of the believer. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus calls us to be salt. You see, salt makes food pleasant and palatable, it preserves food and keeps it from putrefaction and decay. In addition, salt is used as an antiseptic—to kill bacteria, clean something, prevent infection. Likewise, God wants to use us to do a cleansing, purifying work in the world. He wants to use our lives, which we live in and for Christ, to kill the effects and infection of sin in the lives of those around us.
But how does God want to use us to salt? Through our words! The apostle Paul tells us that our words should “always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” The word for gracious here is charity, which means “grace; kindness; favor, as a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ.” It’s the same word used to describe the Lord's favor, which He has freely extended to give Himself away, to pour Himself out for us and pour Himself into us. So, our words should be full of grace, purifying words that destroy sin, words that preserve life, and bring beautiful bursts of the flavor of God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8).
Similar to Peter, who instructed us to be ready to give a defense for the hope we have, Paul tells us to know how to answer each person. But Paul delves a little deeper by giving us a clear warning about the words we use. First, he’s warning us to ensure our words are full of the purifying grace, love, and compassion of Christ, otherwise they will fall on deaf, defensive, closed ears. Second, he’s warning us against insipid, bland, lifeless words—basically, weak, underwhelming, unsalty, ineffective words, A.K.A. a bad defense of the hope we have. He is calling us to be saturated by the saltiness of Christ, so we can bring life, irresistible flavor, and purification to the lives of the people God puts in our path.
DIG: How can your words be salty, with the power to purify and enhance at the same time? How can your words be full of love but also effective at communicating deep, absolute biblical truths?
DISCOVER: What answers do you have for people? How do you answer questions about God, faith, creation, Jesus, salvation, the resurrection, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible?
DISPLAY: Check the saltiness of your words today. Consider your answers to the questions about faith. Are they words of truth spoken in love? Do you have confident answers to the big questions? If not, consider searching for biblical commentaries, taking an apologetics course, speaking with your pastor, etc.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.