If somebody comments on a person’s salty language, it’s usually not a compliment or a thing to be recommended. In our day, saltiness is associated with what is rude, crude, or inappropriate. Yet, the Bible tells us to have speech seasoned with salt. But what that means is quite the opposite of using an offensive vocabulary.
Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.Colossians 4:5-6
The salty speech of Christians is to be filled with wisdom and grace. Paul particularly had in mind our interactions with those who are not followers of Jesus. We don’t strive to win them to Jesus by belittling them or their values. We don’t pound them over the head with the Bible. We don’t criticize and condemn.
No, we speak the truth in love. We don’t shy away from the gospel reality that we are sinners, rebels against God, in desperate need of Jesus. We don’t capitulated and say there are many ways to God when Jesus said he is the only way. We don’t compromise the truth.
But we speak to others in their terms, trying to persuade them to the one who can rescue them and give them life. We magnify the goodness of God and the eternal joys offered in Jesus. We speak of his judgment but doubly so of his kindness and love. We, like Jesus with the woman at the well, show them how only he can quench the deep thirst of longing that resides in the hearts of us all.
And in this way, we help their imaginations soar to the glories of God.
This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.