Words are like salt.They can add flavour, melt ice and preserve life, when sprinkled right; or bring sickness when misused.
– Laugh Again Canada tweet
Let your conversation be always full of grace, (as if) seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
-Colossians 4:16 (NIV, brackets mine)
How salty are your words?
I am not referring to off color or ruse language here, but words that add to the conversation- well chosen, uplifting, encouraging, wise, timely spoken words.
Words that are flavoured with kindness and grace, that can thaw a hard heart.
Words that encourage life and taking steps forward, leaving what needs to be left behind.
Words that are applied, like salt, as needed and with the right touch. Not too heavy, not too light, but just right.
Words that show you actively listen, and sensitively respond in a way that make the hearer know they are valued and respected.
When was the last time you were hurt by an unkind or untimely word? It stings, like salt on an open wound, leaving deep uncomfortable and sometimes unexpected pain behind. Such a word can leave you feeling ill, and off kilter.
When was the last time you spoke that word you wished you could take back? That spoken word that brought tears, divided hearts, left a rift in need of repair?
I remember using words as a defensive weapon when I was in high school, flicking them like a fencing epee to keep others from getting too close and hurting me. It never felt right, but it became a habit I needed to break when I entered the workforce.
I still remember crying over how cruel words and labels were that have been spoken over me, and my regret from wielding mine in a hurtful way.
It takes an awful lot of the right circumstances now to get me to draw out my old failsafe pattern….too little sleep, too little self care, not speaking up often enough about things that are really upsetting me, or someone failing to respect my ‘You shall not pass’ boundary.
As a writer, singer and avid reader, I understand the impacting power of a well chosen word. The power to bless or hurt. The power to encourage or dampen. The power to share love, or hate.
The choice is yours.
We are, however, not alone in this battle. We have a Guide in Holy Spirit, who prompts us on what To say and when to speak when we ask and listen for His direction.
God knows the power of words. His Word is full of them, and His son was a living example of this in the Gospels.
Take a moment, and pause before you speak. Ask God to help you speak as if your words were salt. Words that will add just the right amount of salt to heighten the flavour of the unique ‘dish’ in front of you, without being overpowering.
Use your words with care in such a way you always seek to preserve relationship with whomever you speak with.
Let’s leave careless words in the past, and move forward with kindness, grace and respect. You may be surprised how a carefully chosen a and delivered word can change a life. It could even be yours.