I just passed the 23rd anniversary of my new life and one truth becomes more and more obvious to me as the years pass…
My pride is a master shapeshifter.
As I’ve grown from a baby Christian, God has weeded out blatant arrogance. But in its place softer and deadlier variations sprout—finding fault, desire to be liked, defensiveness. And those are only a few. My pride conceals itself behind a more tenable mask to avoid prying its claws from my character.
All that to say, I still have major issues within this process of sanctification. So when my friend texted to check in on a specific sticky situation, my hurt pride put on its mask and answered, “I’ll call and tell you what happened.”
But life happens, and despite stereotypes, adult women never seem to have time to talk. So with a—I’m on a deadline, I’ll call you later—we let it drop.
I didn’t think about it again until I woke up the following morning with a verse clearly on my mind. Colossians 4:6. To be transparent this isn’t a verse I’ve ever paid significant attention to. I’ve never memorized it. To the best of my recollection, I’ve never read a Bible study on it or heard a sermon about it. So when I woke with it foremost on my mind, I paid attention.
Grace & Salt
Though I had yet to make that phone call, I could be honest enough with myself to admit there probably wasn’t going to be as much grace in my conversation as there needed to be. I started asking myself, if I picked up the phone, would my speech be seasoned with salt.
What is the big deal with salt anyway? And what in the world does this verse even mean? It’s not the first time this concept of saltiness comes up. Jesus himself tells us we are to be the salt of the earth. Ergo, if I’m salt—my words will be should be salty.If I'm the salt of the earth, my words should be salty. #christianliving #biblestudy Click To Tweet
What is Salt?
It made the ancient world go round. The word salary itself comes from salt. Salt is a preservative. It’s an essential element in our diet. A good portion of its ancient use was similar to today—flavoring and preserving food. It was also used for medicinal purposes. An interesting observation about salt is that salt creates thirst.
Another verse that touches on the importance of our speech being filled with grace is Ephesians 4:29. Paul wrote, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
As we speak and respond to each other, we are held to account to only speak what is right for the needs of the conversation. Talk about being intentional.
Earlier in this chapter of Ephesians Paul wrote, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Jesus himself said that the world would know we are his disciples by our love for one another. Paul is showing us how to walk that out in our conversation. Humility + gentleness + patience + tolerance = peace. Paul urges us to do our salty duty—preserve unity in the bond of peace.Humility + gentleness + patience + tolerance = peace. #biblestudy #christianlife Click To Tweet
Ephesians 4:3 reminds me of Romans 12:18. However in Romans, Paul adds a further dimension to our saltiness, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
As far as it depends on me.
- As far as it depends on me, I don’t have to let a rotting situation putrefy further. I can throw salt on it—preserving the relationship while the Holy Spirit works.
- As far as it depends on me, I can keep and protect another’s reputation, throwing the salt of love into a conversation to preserve their dignity. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
- As far as it depends on me, I can choose to submit to Jesus by being what he says I am—salty. He spared no punches in Matthew 5:13. He said we’re the salt of the earth and if we’re not salty, then what good are we?
At the end of Ephesians 4, Paul wrote, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Remembering how Christ forgave our inward rot can help us turn that same forgiveness outward while we make every word salty. We can preserve relationships, heal wounds, flavor life, and drive people to the Living Water.