“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” Colossians 4:6
Right now I am reading through Paul’s letters. I am moving through them rather slowly so I can really savor them and meditate on them. I so deeply desire that the words written by Paul would help me to “judge the thoughts and attitudes of my heart” (Hebrews 4:12) and that it would bring about a harvest of positive change in my life.
The verse from Colossians 4:6 really struck me. I thought of the times that I don’t really have a clue how to answer. Sometimes it’s in a conversation, sometimes it’s a phone message and other times it’s an email. I stare blankly into space and do not have a clue how to respond.
Then I thought through some of my recent conversations. How many of them were filled with grace? How many were seasoned with salt?
Unfortunately, as I thought about it. I felt like so many of my recent conversations had been filled with pepper, not salt. I’ve been unkind. I’ve been judgmental. I’ve been critical. I’ve been emotional. I’ve been selfish. I have probably given people something to choke on rather then giving them something to savor.
I’ve been dwelling on this salt thing for a few days now. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I personally use salt in my life. This weekend I made banana bread. My family loves banana bread. I don’t really think of it as bread. It’s more like a cake that attempts to pass as a good for you food so you can eat it and not feel bad about having dessert later. I put salt in it. As you taste the sweetness of it upon your tongue, I’m thinking sugar not salt. Salt can intensify the sweetness of foods.
I had also recently purchased some soup for my husband and I to share for lunch. Notice I said purchased and not made. I was thinking it would be an act of convenience during a busy week. It was so bland. There was no flavor to it at all. It wasn’t bad really, it just wasn’t good. It had us both reaching to add a bit of salt to it.
Then there’s cooked broccoli. Not a big favorite in my house. Unless you add a bit of salt and perhaps some cheese sauce to it or hide it in a hot dish. Turns out the salt will lessen the bitterness making it more appealing to a wider variety of people.
As I’ve been noticing the uses of salt in cooking and dining. I’ve been pondering their application to conversations.
Could salt in my conversations intensive the sweetness of words of encouragement? Could the salt add flavor to conversations that would otherwise be bland and boring? Could salt ease the bitterness of hard conversations that need to take place between two people?
I also love how grace is tied together. As I’m stuck on the food train of thought. I think of Paul as saying, serve big helpings of grace to those around you and make sure you add a bit of salt to it. Give grace. Give it flavor-fully. Oh, that is what I want to give in this life.
In this longing to give grace, I have to have received it first. Where is the best place to find generous portions of grace worth savoring? From the Holy Trinity. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are the ultimate source of grace, who have perfect timing in their use of salt. So I dug up some other verses about salt for us to meditate on.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:50
“Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.” Numbers 18:19
“Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?” 2 Chronicles 13:5
Let’s just cure ourselves today in these verses. Salt and grace. Salt and peace. A covenant of salt.
Dearest and Beloved Lord,
Thank you so much for the flavor, the grace and the saltiness that You bring to our lives. Thank You for the way You enhance the sweet times. Thank You for the way You lessen the bitterness of hard times. Thank You for the way You add flavor to the bland times.
Please help us to be salt in our conversations, in our relationships and in the world today. In Jesus’ name, amen.