The Power of Words and Speech: Colossians 4:5-6
“5) Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6) Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭ It is instructional how Paul moves from asking prayer for open doors to conducting yourself with wisdom toward outsiders. Casual contacts with strangers can lead to open doors for the gospel. Never prejudge people.
He then moves into grace infused speech. He says we should season our words as if with salt. He is not talking about flattering speech. He is simply pointing out the way we talk and the words we use can open or close doors. Our speech can build walls or construct bridges.
Ephesians 4:29 reminds us that our words can impart grace to people. Unwholesome and vulgar speech should be off limits for the child of God. The same is true of personality attacks.
We will most likely wrangle about concepts, ideas and differing opinions until consensus is reached, but personal put downs, digs and insults should be off limits. The key is to speak the truth in love and be ready to forgive.
Also, remember that most people need time to process, especially when they first hear a new concept or idea. Sharing the gospel is often compared to planting seeds. (See Mark 4:13-20) Seeds need time to take root and grow before they can produce a harvest. This is true of the gospel and many things in life.
Good thoughts and ideas will produce a harvest in the long run if you allow time for processing to work. I have seen numerous occasions where the worse critics become the greatest proponents “over time.” Forcing the process is of little value. Rather, season your speech as with salt and give time for God to work.
Years ago I walked into a chemistry class and the professor had a quote on the screen that illustrates this process. It said, “The human mind once stretched by a new thought or idea can never again return to its original dimension.” Be patient with the stretching process. It can be painful and will take time!
The old indium says, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” Gracious words over time brings better results than force. Never stop working on your communication skills and allow others time to process.
Also, allow yourself time to process as well. You will often be the one God is trying to stretch. Change takes time for all of us! I have often been the one kicking and screaming when first hit with a new thought or idea. Today I am an advocate of many things I formerly use to oppose and criticize. Am I double minded? Not at all, I’ve changed.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global