Words have consequences and just as too much salt can ruin a good recipe, careless words can ruin a conversation, relationship, reputation or an opportunity for the gospel. As salt cannot be extracted once it has permeated food so words cannot be taken back once heard by the hearing ear or seen on the written page.
I am a huge fan of salt. I salt everything; meat, fish, eggs, cooked vegetables, salad, green apples and raw rhubarb, pizza, ketchup etc. I salt food before I taste it. There is almost nothing on my plate that escapes the shaker. Salt enhances my eating experience.
I am particularly fond of the combination of salt and sweet. My favorite breakfast is french toast with link sausage drowning in maple syrup. There is nothing quite like salty sausage and syrup. And let us not forget salted caramel in any form or recipe. Is there anything better than a big salted caramel ice cream cone or sundae? I think not!
If you are a baker you know that most sweet/dessert recipes call for a small amount of salt; a dash, a pinch, or perhaps a teaspoon. It’s not a lot. Have you ever wondered, why salt in a sweet recipe? The amount is so small. Would it really matter if you used no salt at all?
Bakers would tell you that salt is essential to color, texture, aroma and flavor. Science tells us that salt affects the consumer by suppressing the bitterness receptors making other flavors stronger and more balanced. Salt changes our food and changes the way the body perceives our food.
A little salt goes a long ways. I have on occasion over salted my food. It turned something yummy into something…else. While I ate it I didn’t really enjoy it. Too much salt ruins the pleasureable experience. And for the record, while salt can be added to anything to enhance the flavor, it cannot be removed, extracted or eliminated once it permeates the food. While salted is good salty is not.
Colossians 4:3-6 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Seasoned with salt is good. A little salt makes it better. Too much salt is the ruin of a good recipe as well as a good conversation. Salty speech is offensive and angry leaving no one wanting a second discussion. This salt Paul speaks of is salty and sweet. Our words should be gracious, clear and well thought out, opening doors for the gospel. They should be wise and winsome, leaving people wanting to hear more, in the same way a bite of a perfectly salted meal increases our desire for another bite.
As salt influences both the food and the consumer so our words affect both the conversation and the hearer.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat their fruit.
Just as salt impact our food, words have consequences. Careless words can ruin a conversation, relationship, reputation or an opportunity for the gospel. Precious to the hearer are life-giving words of hope that turn our hearts toward God.
In this life I have spoken many salty, careless words; words that affected people and situations that can never be taken back and some that can never be made right. Looking back I can see that God has redeemed those situations and used them as a tool of sanctification in my life. I am forever changed, not by my regret of careless words but by the power of the Holy Spirit who used those circumstances to bring me to my knees before the throne of Grace. God, who is merciful and abounding in steadfast love, uses everything for our good and His glory.
Let your speech be seasoned with salt..