A couple of days ago, I spoke to a friend who opened up to tell me she had been hurt by something I said over a year ago. I vividly remember walking away from that conversation a year ago thinking it was the most candid and the best conversation I have had with anyone in my social circle…so to find out that I had offended a dear friend.. boy did that crush me!
This morning, I woke up pondering how we could have had such differing perspectives to the same conversation and then this scripture came to mind:
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 ESV
So what does it mean to be gracious?
I found this definition online: Gracious people are kind and their behavior is characterized by tact. A gracious person is a graceful person, someone who at least attempts to not hurt others’ feelings with clumsy words or thoughtless deeds.
Wow! I am truly humbled by this definition because that explains exactly how we offend people unbeknownst to us. The more I pondered over this scripture, I noticed a few more things:
Seasoned with salt: Salt flavors, salt preserves. So if I walk in and out of any conversation and I have not flavored the life of another with love, joy, peace, hope, faith… or if I have not preserved the dignity, the love, the peace, the joy, the hope, the faith of another then I have failed to be gracious.
Let your speech: It did not say God will let your speech…The onus is on me to be intentional about being gracious; about being tactful and purposeful about not offending anyone in my conversations.
Granted I am human; and sometimes regardless of how gracious I will try to be I will falter. But God encourages me that his Holy Spirit will help me if I am truly sincere and so I leave you all with this scripture:
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Philippians 4:5 NLT