“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
At first glance we could look at this verse and think… “that shouldn’t be very hard for us to to do!” But, when we consider Paul wrote this from prison and was speaking to outsiders. Meaning… Paul was speaking to those individuals that were also in prison and not of the faith. He also wrote this in verses 2-4… “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Colossians 4:2-4 ESV
This shows Paul had a one track mind. Even though he was in prison for preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified, Paul continued to preach Jesus in prison and wanted to be sure he did it with love and grace. I have no doubt the other prisoners thought he was a fool! Doing the very same thing in prison he was put in prison for in the first place!
So what does it mean to be a fool for Christ? Well, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 4 exactly what it means… “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”
1 Corinthians 4:10-13 ESV
Wow, this sounds a lot different than what is being preached today by all the “celebrity pastors”. We need to quit wanting to have our ears tickled and get back to learning and teaching the Bible. Not cherry picking those verses that make us feel good about ourselves but, teaching those passages that make us see how wretched we are and how great God, Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit are.
Being gracious to someone is telling them the truth. We have misconstrued being gracious to mean telling them what makes them feel good about who they are. Seasoned with salt is telling them the truth that will preserve their life. Saying the truth in such a way that it will not spoil and be palatable. Saying the truth in such a way that they will be thirsty for more. Salt makes us thirsty for a reason. And finally… we should never speak what’s on our mind! Or, “give someone a piece of our mind”. We should always pray for God’s wisdom on what to say and speak from our hearts!
My hearts desire is to truly be a fool for Christ!