As believers, we are instructed to speak with grace, that’s seasoned with salt.
Colossians 4:6 NKJV says…Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Our speech must always be with grace, (that which affords joy, pleasure, delight and goodwill) especially when we are representing Jesus and the gospel. In other words, our speech should bring hope to the hearer.
Then it says our speech must be seasoned with salt. What does salt do? It heals and preserves. So this scripture is telling us to speak with joy, delight, and goodwill and season our speak with salt that will bring healing and preservation to the hearer. The gospel is the good news and provides hope to those who receive it.
But there’s one word in this scripture that tells us that this type of speech is “protocol” for believers. It’s the word “ought” and you can conclude that this is how we should speak to others because ought infers protocol.
When we speak to others, there’s five stages of communication where protocol must be considered. In other words, there’s a way we should speak that will season the person listening.
The first stage of communication is when we speak about someone. The term we often use for this is gossip. Believers should avoid gossip at all cost. If we are speaking about somebody, we should never say anything about them to another person, that we are not willing to say about them while in the presence of that person we are talking about. We should always walk away from this type of communication and avoid it whenever we recognize it.
The second stage of communication is when we speak with someone. The term we often use for this is conversation. As believers we should make it our protocol when speaking with someone to listen more than we speak. The fewer the words, the better. Proverbs 17:28 says “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace.” When we are with other people we should exercise discipline and pull back from our desire to talk about ourselves. Our victory lies in knowing when to speak and when to hold our peace. Jesus was loud when He needed to be and silent when necessary.
The third stage of communication is when we speak to someone. The term we often use for this is instruction. As believers we should be so full of the Word of God that when we speak to someone all that comes out is wisdom and instruction from the Holy Spirit. Jesus provided words of wisdom and instruction to Peter by saying “let down your nets for a catch.” Peter reasoned within himself but obeyed Jesus words and had a life changing, net breaking, boat sinking catch. One word of instruction and wisdom can change a persons life. Luke 5:4-7
The forth stage of communication is when we speak into someone. The term we often use for this is mentorship. As believers we should all be mentoring someone. In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul encourages us to take the things that we have heard and “commit them to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” This means we are to impart what we’ve learned and mentor others to walk in the wisdom and grace that God has revealed to us.
And finally, the fifth stage of communication is when we speak over someone. The term we use for this is called prophecy. When we speak over someone we release preaching and words that will alter someone’s destiny. 1 Corinthians 14:3 says that “he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation and comfort to men.” Our words matter and we must be willing to speak the truth that is revealed to us by the Word of God as instructed by the Holy Spirit.
May we all move away from stage number one and stage number two. With the help of the Holy Spirit I pray our focus of communication will be on stages three, four and five. As we speak with grace that is seasoned with salt, we can instruct others, mentor them and speak destiny into their lives. Our words should preserve people, and give them hope.
This is the believers protocol for speaking!
By Pastor James Everette