Daily Devotion April 12, 2023

“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)

     Please pass the salt. This polite request is made less often at the dinner table these days in my home. My family physician has two standing orders for me. Lose weight and cut down on your salt intake.

     Salt sadly gets a bad rap these days. Though the condiment’s reputation wasn’t always so disparaging. In addition to flavoring their food, ancient peoples utilized salt as a preservative that kept the meat from decaying. Salt was also employed for medicinal purposes and to prevent an infection from spreading.

     More modern-day uses include the removal of rust from bicycles and household appliances. Gargling with salt water alleviates soar throats. Salt can eliminate odors from hands, cutting boards, and garbage disposals.

     Paul claimed that salt offers similar wide-reaching benefits with respect to human speech. Of course, Paul wasn’t alluding to the mineral we call sodium chloride. Rather he was referencing to a willingness to be led by God’s Spirit.

     Salt is a type of hygroscopic material that attracts water. God’s Spirit is often symbolized by flowing streams or artesian waters. Paul’s point is that when we align our hearts to the guidance of the Holy Spirit our words become more grace-filled and readily received by others.

     The Spirit helps us know how to say the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. Finding faults with others is easy. But expressing tolerance and understanding requires divine intervention.

     Voicing dissatisfaction comes naturally for most. Workers complain about bosses and bosses complain about their employees. The driver following us grumbles because we’re moving too slowly, while we grumble that they are following too closely. Finding reasons to be thankful, however, necessitates more effort.

There’s a prayer that I pray each day that opens the door for God’s Spirit to enter and accomplish His holy work

within me:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be
truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations.
Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.