Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Col. 4:6)
In our present culture there is no shortage of "salty" conversation. The radio can't play many songs as they are studio-recorded (or they shouldn't) and the TV bleeps regularly to cover over obvious salty language. Even the vice-president whispered in the president's ear at the signing of a major piece of legislation a word that he did not intend to go over a open microphone. Yet there was no apology--by either party, they minimized the indiscretion, and thought I suppose that most of our society thinks it was no big deal.
I made some cookies several days ago that were mostly butter. They were light and flakey because not only did they have only a small amount of flour, the sugar in them was of the powdered variety. They were good, but there was one thing in them that I thought made them great! The recipe called for a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This wasn't a recipe for monster cookies. It was for little tea cookies and it only makes about 16 to a batch. A half teaspoon of salt is a lot in this recipe but when you eat them it's just right. Oh, how I love a little salt with sugar.
So how does conversation full of grace seasoned with salt manifest itself? Grace-filled conversation is both empathetic and hopeful. It affirms others where they are and it affirms God as being aware and intent on bringing about his kingdom purposes in the lives of people. At the same time it is passionate and speaks with authority. When that passion is added to grace-laden conversations that is the salt. It means that we don't only have an answer but we have a answer that we have placed our faith in. It is what we believe and it is out of this conviction that our answers have the heightened flavor that "salt" can bring to the sweet taste of grace to those who need answers in this world.
As a Christ-follower I have been challenged at times with finding the balance between grace and salt. But this verse reminds me that first I must let grace rule. It only follows that if I hold to faith and believe the truth, I will speak with the an authority that comes from God who empowers me to boldly proclaim the Living Hope of Jesus Christ. Salt can be abrasive. Salty words are often abrasive. We want to turn away from them. So I pray today that God will pour out just the amount of salt so that my answers draw others to the Savior and I am not abrasive, unapproachable, and not able to give the answers that bring glory to God and hope to others.