Think Before You Speak
These are words from the apostle Paul to the church at Colossae on how to conduct themselves toward outsiders. An outsider in this context refers to those outside the faith; people who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 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
These outsiders encompass the majority of the people we live with every day. They include co-workers, friends, acquaintances, and even family members. God is saying through Paul that we need to use wisdom and make the most of every opportunity in which we find ourselves around people who don’t know Jesus.
Always be Filled with Grace
He goes on to say that the way we speak should be gracious and full of flavor—always, not just sometimes. Notice that God uses the phrase, “so that.” In other words, when we speak with grace and flavor, we will know how to respond to each person. What a comfort God is providing us: the ability to respond how we should, instead of how we may want to.
Let’s admit it, many of us don’t follow Paul’s instructions to the Colossians, or even think about them. We do not see the opportunities that are right in front of our noses. Our speech isn’t seasoned with grace at all but rather with criticism and judgment. If this is our modus operandi, we don’t get the last part of the instruction, “so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Instead, we have a lost opportunity.
What God wants is for us to witness in a way that makes others long to come into the family of God. He provides the wisdom, opportunity, and response we need for each person. All He asks is that our speech will always be with grace!