Colossians 4:6 – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (NIV)
I gave up salting my food years ago. I felt like all I tasted was salt, and no matter what type of food I ate, it was too heavily layered in salt for me to get to the heart of the taste. It was hard to do without salt at first, because everything tasted different. I persevered, though, and eventually, after about three weeks, food started to taste wonderful. I discovered that most foods have salt in them anyway. Adding more sodium chloride to my plate was doing nothing for the food. All it was doing was clogging up my arteries and increasing my blood pressure. I hardly take salt with anything now, and I feel better because of it. Who knows how high my blood pressure would be right now if I had continued to salt my food?
There's an old story told about two pastors in London, England, who were holding revival campaigns at the same time. One of the campaigns was always crowded; the other managed only an average attendance. A reporter went to both meetings, listened to the preachers, and thought that they expressed the same gospel message — one of repentance, judgment, and salvation. He wondered why both preachers didn't have the same large gatherings, so he asked a couple of people what the difference was. They replied, "Both evangelists preach the same gospel message and talk about judgment, but the more successful preacher seasons his words with grace."
As Christians, we can sometimes be hypercritical of other people and too quick to pronounce judgment, hellfire, and damnation upon other sinners. Our message becomes a tirade of self-righteousness, and our hearers just turn off listening. However, if we confront sin and apply words of grace to the sinner, our witness will be more effective, because those who hear will be more receptive to what we have to say.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there are times when we let You down with our insensitivity and poor judgments. We're too quick to condemn other people, and we make too many rash judgments about their lives. Forgive us for being so unforgiving and graceless with our opinions. Help us to clarify what Your gospel is all about to others, and enable us to express it with grace, patience, and love. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.