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  • Writer's pictureCrystal

Words & Conversations to ourselves and others…

Our words carry weight. They can help build a wall so others cannot get in, as well as tear down that wall.

Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (NIV)

Paul is talking about unity within the body of Christ. It is easy to read scripture that deals with the tongue or speech and think it is about curse words. However, when you dig a little, you find a lot of times it is dealing with how you say something. In Ecclesiastes 10:12-13, we find instructions on the wise use of gracious words (NIV). We also find those same instructions 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)

The definition of Gracious is courteous, kind; in Christian belief: merciful, forgiving, compassionate.

How we say something matters as much as what we say. Gentle encouragement brings the Kingdom of God forward. Where as, well meaning advice spoken poorly can discourage someone (including yourself, self talk ); therefore, hindering the advancement of God's Kingdom.

Ecclesiastes and Colossians both say "gracious seasoned words (my translation of the scripture given above). When choosing your words of correction, do you think in advance "will this build this person up or tear them down "? For me, I do not think most conversations out in advance. But I will replay conversations over and over in my head.

So what is gracious talk seasoned with salt? The first word pertains to giving grace (mercy, forgiveness, compassion). When our speech is full of mercy, then it is difficult to offend others. The trouble comes in when we add our "salt".

Salt adds flavor so that your dish is not flat, it enhances other flavors. (Too much and you may have to add potatoes to absorb some of the excess salt.) Salt is also used as a preservative, think fish, bacon, even lemons. It extends the life of these items. Salt is referenced in the Old Testament as a covenant (friendship covenant where friends share a meal), it is also required in sacrificial offerings to God.

Now think of adding salt to your speech. A difficult conversation with a loved one needs to be seasoned with mercy and compassion but also enhanced to give life and hopefully preserving the faithfulness of God. Correction can be positive and needs to be done in a manner that would bring unity and glory to God.

Our words matter, but so does the delivery of those words. Whether the conversation is with another person or yourself, begin with prayer, then add kindness, mercy, compassion and God's definition of love so that your conversation is well seasoned (God seasoned).

This conversation needs to start in my head first so that I can have it with others. Did you know I show more grace to others than I do to myself? How we talk to ourselves can be more damaging than a train wreck. Replaying only the negative parts of any conversation helps to establish a negative narrative about yourself.

This cycle, for me, started when I was young and continues to this day. But as I am writing this I am seeing that I have over-seasoned my speech with too much salt, making my speech(my thoughts) toxic. Time to get out the potatoes to remove some of the salt. My "potatoes" are scripture nuggets providing me my identity in Christ** (pure well seasoned identities).

What about you? How many "potatoes " do you need to add to remove those salty thoughts (about you and others)? How well are you reflecting Christ to yourself in your self talk? Or in the conversations with others?

My prayer is that I hear what God helped me write and so do you. In Him we can be unified if we are willing to change our seasonings.

(**Identities in Christ will be coming soon to my instagram account, personal Facebook page and to my Grace Additives Facebook page.)

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