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)
Our words matter. The Lord commands us to watch what we say and how we talk. He commands that our speech should always be gracious, that is full of grace. In other words, grace should be in our mouths. What does it mean to speak with grace? Well, it does not mean preaching or teaching about grace! The grace in your speech describes the impact of what you say on those who hear you. Grace encourages, builds up, strengthens, illuminates, guides, brings clarity, etc. In other words, when people listen to us, they are always better off!
Paul gave the same instruction to the Ephesians and clarifies further what it means to speak with grace:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV).
Corrupt talk should not come out of your mouth as a believer. Someone might ask “what if it is only a joke?” As if the Lord knew we would ask this question, He said
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:4, ESV)
Remember, this is not referring to our preaching or sharing the Gospel. The Lord is talking about our daily conversation with our friends, children, wives, husbands, colleagues, etc. Speak with grace. Let your mouth be a fountain of life such that when people listen to you, they should be encouraged, strengthened, or built up. Never let corrupt talk that causes people to feel depressed, broken down, fearful, angry etc come out of your mouth.
What is speaking with grace as described above? Is it possible to use your words to break down or build up someone emotionally?
APPLY THE WORD
People will curse or make crude jokes around you but the Lord says it should not be you. Your words matter to God and to those who hear you. Be a people builder with your mouth.
Ask the Lord to help you make your mouth a fountain of freshwater to bless those who listen to you.