Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Col 4:5-6
Paul knew how to say a lot in a few words. What will you give? I’ll give some grace seasoned with salt. What a word picture.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside.
Our walk is to be worthy of the Lord. Our wisdom comes from above. Those who are outside are outside of the kingdom of Christ and of God.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18
Redeeming the time.
Vine’s Dictionary puts the meaning “redeeming the time,” where “time” is kairos, “a season,” a time in which something is seasonable), i.e., making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed.
Let your speech always be with grace.
By God’s grace we are saved and we come to His throne of grace to get mercy and find grace. When we come to His throne our hearts are warmed in the soft glow of His love. There it is easy to think on the things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. Thinking on those things helps us be gracious.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Messiah Yeshua.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think about these things. 9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Php 4:4-9
Grace seasoned with salt.
As salt savors our food, so our speech is to be with grace seasoned with salt, making it wholesome and palatable. We should be salty in what we say to unbelievers, without being preachy, overbearing or insulting. We don’t put a cup of salt in a bowl of soup and expect someone to eat it. The balance comes from grace and godliness, keeping in mind our saltiness should not loose its savor nor should we show any acceptance of worldly speech or conduct.
You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. Mt 5:13
Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 ASV
From the Old Testament, we learn much about wisdom and speech with grace, seasoned with salt.
- Psalms 37:30 The mouth of the righteous talks of wisdom.
- His tongue speaks justice.
- Prov 10:19 In the multitude of words there is no lack of disobedience,
- but he who restrains his lips does wisely.
- 20 The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver.
- The heart of the wicked is of little worth.
- 21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
- but the foolish die for lack of understanding.
- Prov 10:31 The mouth of the righteous produces wisdom,
- but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
- 32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
- but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.
- Prov 12:8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom,
- but he who has a warped mind shall be despised.
- Prov 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword,
- but the tongue of the wise heals.
- 19 Truth’s lips will be established forever,
- but a lying tongue is only momentary.
- Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
- but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- 2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
- but the mouth of fools gush out folly.
- 3 The LORD’s eyes are everywhere,
- keeping watch on the evil and the good.
- 4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
- but deceit in it crushes the spirit.
- Prov 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life;
- But perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit.
- Prov 15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
- not so with the heart of fools.
- Prov 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man;
- But the answer of the tongue is from Jehovah.
- Prov 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue;
- those who love it will eat its fruit.
- Prov 21:23 Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue
- keeps his soul from troubles.
- Prov 25:15 By patience a ruler is persuaded.
- A soft tongue breaks the bone.
- Pro 28:23 One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
- than one who flatters with the tongue.
Finally, here’s how Peter tells us us to walk in wisdom toward those who are inside.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, all of you be like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, 9 not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
- “He who would love life
- and see good days,
- let him keep his tongue from evil
- and his lips from speaking deceit.
- 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good.
- Let him seek peace and pursue it.
- 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
- and his ears open to their prayer;
- but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
All scripture is from the World Messianic Bible WMB unless otherwise noted.
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