People love to talk. We talk about everything and anything, there is no topic that is taboo. There are talk shows and shows that explore our feelings, shows that allow us to air our differences or spout off about our various pet peeves. Social media is jam-packed with people talking about everything, and nothing, and all that is in between.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, there is very little restraint included in these conversations. People are encouraged to let it all out, whether good or bad, to ‘express yourself’, no matter if what you say is hurtful, or mean-spirited, or rude. It’s almost as if the goal is to make yourself feel good without regard to those around you that have to listen to your words.
And sadly, a lot of Christians are the same way. As a Christian we are called to be different in everything we do, and that includes the way we talk.
The Bible says in Colossians 4:6…
“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive, so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (New Living Translation)
I’ve been around Christians who are brash and rude, who think that because they have found a new life in Christ that entitles them to blast others with the gospel message, no matter how hurtful they sound. Instead of attracting people to Christ, our words push the lost away. If we want to win others to Christ, we must be very careful how we present ourselves to the world because it’s through us that the world will see Christ.
Let’s break this scripture down:
- Be gracious – this simply means to be kind in our speech, to pause before we speak so that we can choose our words carefully. It’s called tact and understanding. Simply put, we must put the needs of others first in our conversations.
- Be attractive – other translations say “seasoned with salt”. Salt is tasty. It adds flavor to a dish to make it more palatable. Our speech should be just as tasty, filled with the good things that God has done in our lives so that when others hear our words they get a taste of what the Lord could do in their lives. Like bee’s to honey, our words need to attract the lost to the Savior.
- Respond rightly – people are unique, so the way we respond to them should also be unique. Some people respond with a firm hand, some don’t. We all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, our experiences have shaped who we are and how we react to those around us. As Christians, we need to be sensitive to how we respond to those around us.
A conversation is worthwhile when it is gracious, kind and tailored to fit the one we are speaking to. As Christians we must choose to be different in our speech. As it says in Proverbs 25:11, “A well-spoken word at just the right moment is like golden apples in settings of silver.” (the Voice)