“I didn’t mean to say that….!”
Have you ever said something and wished you could get those words back? Of course you have, we all have; words spoken out of anger or disgust, words of pride, jealousy, or bitterness. If we are honest, these words flow all too fluently from our lips.
I ran into this verse this morning. Wow, if I could just master this one verse. Just this one…. I wonder…. how many petty arguments would be averted, how many offensive things would never be spoken, how many words would serve and help, and on and on it goes!
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 ESV)
I read the above and my next thought was….”God, Help Me!” Always gracious? Seasoned with salt? I would prefer to season it with sarcasm or bitterness. How about some spicy speech…. I can do that! It comes easily, naturally, without any previous thought or purpose!
I wonder if we take God’s Word and its exhortations about our tongues seriously. Our current news headlines reveal an ongoing moral decline in our world. Christian, this news should not take us by surprise! Darkness is going to do what darkness does…
What I hear from many Christians today represents anger and fear. Don’t misunderstand. I do not say that as if I am without anger and fear. Actually, both are close friends. Sadly, I know them intimately. Perhaps that is why I am writing this post. Maybe I am simply writing to myself and allowing you to listen in.
Here is what I must remind myself of today from God’s Word. (I have been spending time in the book of James so I will limit myself by only quoting from James.)
- Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 ESV)
- If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. (James 1:26 ESV)
- So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. (James 3:5-9 ESV)
(Side note: Perhaps the above verses could be a source of help to those impulsive responses on Facebook. You know the kind…. you just read a post that offends you and has you all lathered up. These verses are extremely helpful as we seek to be a light in the darkness on social media.)
Prayerfully join me, consider and ask, in the morally declining days that we are living in…. is my speech always gracious and seasoned with salt. Do I know how to answer each person?
Don’t misunderstand me…. I too believe that as Christians we have a responsibility to stand for morality. Followers of Christ throughout history have made this stand and that is no different in our day. Where would society be if it were not for the William Wilberforce’s of the world? The issue I am calling myself to attend to is not if we stand. Rather, it is how we stand. The stand for morality and ethic is not to be rooted in self – righteousness, anger, or fear of what is to come. Rather, it is a stand that pursues humility. It is a stand that is constantly reminded that – “but for the grace of God, there go I”. We stand not in the fear of what the future may bring. Rather, we stand in faith that God is God of the present as well as the future.
So, let us make our stand in a culture that seems to be spiraling downward and let us do so with speech that is gracious, seasoned with salt, and knows how to answer each person.