Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Proverbs 15:1 (CEB)
1A sensitive answer turns back wrath,
but an offensive word stirs up anger.
We are spending this week reflecting on what Jesus meant when he said that we were to be “the salt of the earth.” Yesterday, we talked about putting salt on food, but I put salt on something else, too—my sidewalk, every winter to melt the ice.
It’s an interesting phenomenon that salt melts ice. It has to do with the salt crystals disrupting the way the water molecules move, inhibiting its ability to form a solid. It works all the way down to minus 6 degrees F.
How might this give us some more insight as to what it means to be “the salt of the earth?” Well, just as my sidewalk can have an icy exterior in the wintertime, sometimes people can seem to have an icy exterior, too.
Sometimes, people can be gruff, impatient, rude, obnoxious, arrogant, angry, or just generally, cold. Our first reaction might be to return exactly the same kind of behavior, but that isn’t going to improve the situation. If we are truly “the salt of the earth,” we will strive to make our reactions warm, accepting, patient, uplifting, encouraging, and loving.
One thing that occurs to me is that my sidewalk often needs more than one application of salt. Perhaps your first set of kind words won’t be appreciated, but being consistent in your loving attitude might begin to chip away at that icy exterior.
We don’t know why a person might be cold—we have no idea what he or she might be struggling with. So, aside from making sure that our words and attitudes would be pleasing to God, let’s remember to pray for the not-so-warm people we encounter.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.