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, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)
More and more Christians walk with targets on their back. Evangelicals in particular have been labeled as mean-spirited and hateful. There is a spiritual war going on as the world moves more secular in its religious disposition. This is on top of the not-so-Christlike behavior of those who have taken the name of Christ. Never before is there a need for Christlike discourse.
Paul reminds us that our conversation should always be full of grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. The gifts of God dispersed to all peoples whether they have lived a life worthy or not. And let’s face it. None of us have lived a life worthy yet the Lord has lavished His love and goodness upon us. Our conversation when dialogue becomes strained must be graceful.
However, the Biblical concept of grace is more than the goodness of God. It is also the power of God. We are saved by His grace. It is a kindness that carries with it great power. When we form our words in grace, the Spirit of Living Water flows through us with power to effect change. Grace will change situations. It will change relationships. It will change hearts.
Often, in difficult situations, we have a knee-jerk reaction to become defensive or to shut down emotionally. This response is self-protective. We must let God be our Protector as we position ourselves as His ambassador.
The amazing grace of God will accomplish what we cannot. To resist self-protection to love those who may be trying our patience will release the power of God not only to effect their heart, but in the process, the Lord will also protect us, embolden us, and anoint us with power to not shrink back.
I want to throw this last little thing in for today though it is not little. Paul says then we will know how to answer everyone. You will see the key here is not what you say, but how you say it. You don’t have to know the right thing to say. You only need to have the right spirit. When our heart has the right attitude, it will overflow with the right words to accomplish God’s will in that moment.
To be graceful in speech, we must trust the Lord with our safety, our reputation, and our fear. But He will be faithful. And what miracles might He do through you when you choose graceful conversation.
Lord, help me in every difficult conversation to let Your Spirit guide my heart that I might choose graceful conversation. Amen.