Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5
Have you ever bopped yourself mentally after you walked away from a conversation. It suddenly hits you what you should have said, five minutes too late. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, isn’t it? All at once your head fills with elegant prose you could have used instead of your stammered, short answers.
Or maybe, there were things you wanted to say, but you just didn’t have the gumption to spit them out. You were not bold enough.
Could it be you feared the consequences if you spoke your mind?The other person may have thought less of you, or gotten angry. So once again you bit your tongue, the way you have so often it is numb to it now.
Perhaps you did blurt it out, and now regret the words that spewed like a sword, piercing another’s heart. If only you had held your tongue! If only you could take back what you said, wipe away the hurt.
I think each of these scenarios is being addressed by Paul in his advice to the Colossians. In essence, he is asking them to have grace in their speaking, i.e., to have Christ act through them. The Truth is like salt. Salt as a flavor enhancer can make the listener want more. It can make them thirsty for the Living Waters that will cleanse their souls. Salt as a preservative can keep the words in their head, maturing to full potential in influencing them to follow the Way and the Light to salvation.
What will I be lead to say today, or what will I blurt out without thinking? Will I have the gumption to speak Truth and leave the consequences to the One who has put it in my mind to speak it? Will I walk away confident that what needed to be said actually was? Will I have exhibited graciousness? If I have let Christ guide the conversation, have truly listened before repsonding instead of thinking what I should say in reply before they are finished talking, then yes. Perhaps there is something to that old adage, think before you speak.