Sympathizers. Encouragers. Well-wishers. Helpers. Those who come alongside you in times of trouble. I have had many! And, I am thankful, and continue to be thankful, for their support!
We all approach our own grief differently – this is true in how we approach somebody else’s grief, too. I understand a person’s orientation to trials in how they respond to me in my time of trouble. The varied responses I receive help me to think in new ways…ways that I would not have necessarily considered, otherwise.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.Colossians 4:6
Colossians 4:6 encourages us to consider the person in which we are talking to, choose our words wisely, and speak righteously. Paul is sharing wisdom in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ and His gospel, but the fundamentals of this conversation apply to any person, who is intentioned on following Christ, speaking with another.
What an important concept for those we minister to. Sharing the words of God because we care. I want to share wise words, not my own of course, but God’s. It is important to share right words…again, not my own, but from scripture. Seasoning my conversation with salt, as the “salt of the earth.”
So…what actually comforts another? Cliche’s, worn-out sayings, trite statements that really don’t have much impact. In the moment, these “lines” come up because we are all so familiar with them. Then the words seem to tumble out because the overwhelming feeling is that something needs to be said!
We want to do. Saying something is doing. We love the person, want them to be ok, so my desire is to contribute, whatever I can, to help. There really is no “wrong” thing to say – unless it’s plainly unbiblical. The words, whatever they are, come from a heart that hurts with another. It’s compassion.
What if the words we used, though, were thought over and refined for a bit before being delivered? What if we actually think about what we say, hold it up to the light for inspection, and season it with salt before offering to somebody else? Could it be time? It takes time to do this. It takes a small amount of sacrifice. Communication is lighting fast in our society, maybe it’s important to slow that down a bit and consider what I’m communicating…