Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
I once thought of writing a book titled My Journey Tackling a Tactless World and it would be a compilation of all the things that people have had the audacity to say to me. It’s rather amazing to me that people feel the need to comment on your life that they have no part of, or any actual idea of what it consists.
The most memorable situation was when I had three children at the time and was at dinner with my mom at a restaurant. My husband was working out-of-town so it was just my mother and I with the babies – 20 month old, one year old and a newborn. Naturally, there were a lot of curious eyes and likely some whispers, but I was not irritated until an older gentleman stopped at our table. He looked between the children and myself then turned to my mother and said, “didn’t you teach her better than that?”
Didn’t you teach her better than that.
Only by the grace of God my mother mumbled something unintelligible and the man walked away. I bit my tongue, probably causing it to bleed, and managed not to say anything myself even though I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. A whole litany of (probably unChristian-like) phrases flew through my mind and I wanted desperately to tell him how wrong his assumptions were.
I held my tongue and referred to Colossians 4:6. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone. Full of grace. Sometimes it is very difficult to have a conversation full of grace when someone has it so blatantly wrong. It’t difficult to have a conversation full of grace when someone is so blatantly disrespectful, but that’s exactly what God calls us to in Colossians 4:6.
Satan loves our loose tongue and is overjoyed when we speak contempt or out of anger. In those moments, we are not bringing glory to the God who set us in the situation at hand. If I had nastily proclaimed that I was taught love and compassion and the children were examples of that, how believable would I have been? By holding my tongue and having a conversation full of grace (by saying nothing at all!), I exemplified the love and compassion that I wanted that man to see.
In the moments where you want to fire back to those who have no idea, choose grace. When you’re in a position of tackling a tactless word, remember to fill each conversation with grace just as you’ve been instructed to do.