“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Colossians 4:6

Last week we talked about how God meets us with truth and grace. This week we’ll discuss how we meet the world with God’s truth and grace. This is a difficult challenge for most of us because we either stand on truth and forget about grace or we hand out grace without the foundation of truth.

To follow Jesus and live by His example, we must learn to stand on the truth and speak the truth while extending grace and love in the process. This will look different to each of us at different times and in different situations.

That’s a bleak picture. But it isn’t the end. Because when our speech is full of grace seasoned with salt (truth), we will also see lives changed. People caught in the chains of sin will be set free. The lost will be found. The hopeless will find hope.

We must remember that we cannot do this on our own. We must call on the Holy Spirit to guide us carefully through this process or we will fail to exhibit love and grace OR we will fail to speak truth. Speaking truth in love requires that we first love the person we are talking to; if we don’t, our words will ring of condemnation with no grace, no opportunity for restoration.

We reach others by showing grace, love, and compassion first. A hard truth must never be sacrificed for an easy lie. But a hard truth not wrapped in grace and the redemptive love of Christ will land like a hammer rather than envelop like a hug.

Luke cautions us against confronting others with their sins if we have not first examined our own hearts. “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:42)

It is important that we determine the motives in our own hearts before attempting to delve into the lives of others. If we aren’t willing to examine the specks and planks in our own eyes, we shouldn’t be quick to try to remove them from the eyes or our brothers and sisters.

Here are a few steps we can take to make sure we are ready to speak to others with truth and grace. This can include times when you’ve been wronged by others and also times when you feel led to begin a hard conversation about a sensitive subject. There may, of course, be moments when you are called to respond immediately; the key is to always listen to God’s leading.

1. Get honest with God

2. Seek truth

3. Wrap yourself in grace

4. Surrender to God’s will

5. Speak with grace and truth

And as a final reminder. Some people plant, some water, but it is God who gives the increase. If you don’t see immediate results in your heart or the hearts of others, give it time and let God continue to do His work.

May our speech always spark conversations filled with grace and truth.