The first words that come to mind when I think about salty speech is that of some old fashioned seafaring man whose language is certainly colourful. He often has no regard for the thoughts and feelings of others, but barrels his way through conversations. It is not usually the kind of conversation one wants to emulate.
God asks us for a different kind of salty speech in Colossians 4:6: “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (NIV)
How can our talks with others be seasoned with salt? No one wants to listen to a dull, boring monologue. Our conversations should be flavourful and interesting and considerate of our audience.
I think we all have had experiences with awkward conversations. You sit there and wonder what you can possibly say next because the person you are with seems to show no interest in the people or surroundings. If we are to have gracious conversation it is the opposite. First and foremost we need to speak with kindness and consideration for those around us. It’s more than being polite – it’s being thoughtful and inviting. We need to look for ways to make connections with our audience. So much of the value of our conversations is not just in what we say but how we say it. Think about how you present yourself.
What compels any of us to do something? A good case built for the prospect or spectacular advertising? As Christians we are in the business of compelling the lost to believe in our Saviour. Our conversation needs to captivate our audience and hold their interest. As the hearer begins to trust us, the channels are open for their acceptance of what we have to say.
Salty conversation is riveting. People pay attention. It is difficult to resist listening to talk when the persuasive speaker presents his case. As we present the case for Christ we need to be mindful of this Colossians passage – “so that we may know how to answer everyone.” Stimulating, engaging conversation doesn’t happen by itself. You can’t get water from a dry well. It is important to have some Scriptural background and to converse with people with knowledge in this area – to build up our arsenal so to speak. You never know when God will provide the opportunity to share His message of love and salvation.
The power doesn’t lie in our own words, but in our willingness to be God’s channels to share the Gospel. Think about how you can make your conversation more “salty” today.