by Kelly Wilson Mize
I’m not proud of it, but I am an admitted salt-a-holic. For me, this simplest of seasonings makes almost any food taste better. A generous amount of salt on vegetables and even some fruits (I think it’s a Southern thing?) Yes, please!
Health-wise, too much salt in a person’s diet can definitely be problematic. But in moderation, salt brings a food’s natural flavor to life. Salt contains nutrients that are not only beneficial, but essential to the human body. Did you know that if you drink too much water, it can flush the sodium out of your system and cause a fatal condition called hyponatremia?
In the book of Colossians, Paul uses salt to illustrate the importance of being gracious in conversation. Just as salt provides a desirable seasoning for the food we eat, grace should season the words we speak.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 NIV
In the New Living Translation of this passage, the phrase “seasoned with salt” is synonymously described as “gracious and attractive.” In communicating with nonbelievers, our words should be attractive–welcoming and full of flavor, appealing to those who have not yet come to know God.
Salt is a preservative. Besides adding flavor, it can extend the life of certain foods. Do our words help or hinder the spread of Truth? Preserve it or destroy it?Without God’s grace, communication can be dull, tasteless, and ineffective. Matthew Henry wrote, “Grace is the salt that seasons our discourse and keeps it from corrupting.”
In addition to its other uses, salt helps save lives! Did you know that in the United States, more salt is used to de-ice frozen streets and highways in the winter months, than is consumed in food year-round? Salt, in essence, clears the way. Shouldn’t that be true of the words we speak? They should make clear, and not obstruct the path to Jesus!
Words are forever. Positive or negative, once a word has been spoken, it can never be taken back. How gracious are we in the way that we behave and communicate? In our interaction with others, let us consistently ask ourselves:
- Are my intentions pure?
- Is my tone kind?
- Do my words preserve Truth?
- Do my conversations make clear the path to Jesus?
As believers, may we take great care in the words that we speak, prayerful that our conversations are pleasing to God and helpful in expanding His kingdom. And where our words lack flavor, preservation, or clarity–may we always remember the simple recipe for improvement that we read about in Colossians: just add a pinch (or more!) of salt!
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Kelly Wilson Mize is a wife, mother of two young adults, and former educator with a master’s degree in education. In 20 years as a published writer, she has composed numerous articles, interviews, curriculum projects, and devotions, and has contributed to eight traditionally published books. Credits include LifeWay, Bethany House, Guideposts, (in)courage, and others. Kelly’s first full-length publication, a picture book, will be released later this year. You can find out more at kellywilsonmize.com
Join the conversation: With what do you try to salt your words?