This post is another excerpt from our homepage, but I wanted to make it a separate blog too because I think most everyone subsribed to our blog, just comes in here, or reads the blogs in a reader. Enjoy!
Yes, I admit it. I was thinking of Aerosmith’s Walk This Way when I wrote the title for this section. And yes, I am a Steven Tyler fan. So while you’re reading this, it’s ok to have the melody from that song rolling around in your head. It might actually help because I know my writing can get a little tedious at times.
The book of Colossians in the New Testament is one of my favorites. These words of Paul from that letter are encouraging and convicting at the same time.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6, emphasis mine)
I don’t care much for bland foods. I like food that light up my taste buds. I like food that is perfectly seasoned. Just the right amount of seasoning and the meal is a success. It’s the same with the words I choose. I like being around gracious words as they are spoken with just the right amount of seasoning. Seasoning that springs from the gospel of grace and is fixated on the cross. The words we choose when writing should be no different than those we choose when speaking. We should be intentional in choosing words that are gracious and seasoned with salt.
I don’t know about you, but I love to visit web sites that encourage me and build me up in the faith. I keep going back to those for more of the same. When there is encouragement spoken there, it is gracious and thoughtful encouragement. When there is something convicting that I need to hear there, it is presented graciously and seasoned with the salt of the gospel. It’s this combination that makes it palatable and profitable for my soul. It isn’t harsh, unkind, or judgmental. It doesn’t tear others down in order to come out the winner or be right. Paul warned us about those attitudes too,
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:14-15)
Our writing and blogging should never be done in such a way as to put others down in order to demonstrate how right we are. This amounts to “biting and devouring one another” and it can only lead to being “consumed by one another.” And it stems from sinful pride. But grace frees me from all of that petty stuff. Grace frees me to fail and it frees me to be wrong and it frees me from the need to roll up my sleeves, put someone else in a spiritual headlock, and defend myself or my position. It frees me to be ok with the negative things others may think about me because at the end of the day, he must increase and I must decrease. I’m content there. That’s where I want to be.
That kind of thinking seems to bother some Christians. I understand that because before my own re-awakening to the gospel a few years ago, it bothered me too. I was the same way. But because of the myriad of ways God continues to pour the gospel into my own life, I just don’t have to be critical anymore. I don’t want to be. I’m not looking for a fight because when I was like that, Jesus rescued me with grace and kindness, not more harshness. I daily receive God’s mercy when I deserve his wrath. I don’t have to be critical of others so that I can cast myself in a good light. I’m fine with others thinking me a little weird because I probably am. I’m good with taking one for the team – for Christ’s kingdom. It’s the least I can do because when I was at my worst, God rescued me (Romans 5:6) and he loves me just like I am today, even with all of my weirdness. I don’t have to earn his acceptance by my performance because Jesus earned it for me. What great news! I can relax my shoulders because of grace!
God’s grace is radical and unpredictable. It can’t be tamed. As one author put it, grace messes up your hair. It’s messed up mine (what’s left of it) and it continues to mess it up. I hope that you find our site one that is filled with gracious, gospel-centered speech that builds you up the faith.