How to Answer

Published on Jun 18th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
How to Answer

How to Answer

I am often asked how a believer should respond when…???  It is always a more complicated answer than it seems because the Bible gives tons of wisdom on how to respond to different situations.  There is no way for me to fully know the situation in just a brief moment so I normally have to ask a bunch of questions and then give multiple answers that depend on how the situation plays out and then give multiple responses to each of those situations…needless to say that by this time the person is just nodding and saying “OK” hoping I will stop talking so they can graciously retreat and go find someone who can really help.  It is hard to know how exactly we should respond to situations and people.  Thankfully, Paul gives us some help in Colossians 4.  I have just finished studying Colossians with a buddy of mine.  There is not much greater joy than spending time with a friend studying the Word of God.  Such sweet fellowship.

In Colossians 4:6 Paul writes, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  Right off the bat Paul hits us between the eyes with that dreaded word… “always.”   He is writing to Jewish believers who have been dispersed because of persecution and the persecution is only going to get worse.  Even in the midst of persecution our speech needs to be gracious.  Giving people what they do not deserve. Speaking to them that which builds them up.  That does not necessarily mean that we simply tell them every day how good looking they are.  The next phrase is “seasoned with salt”.  Salt stings sometimes.  Gracious words that address wrongs in our lives often sting.  Salt preserves by preventing corruption.  Gracious words that rescue conversations from corrupt speech often are seen as harsh by those offending with their speech.  Salt also adds taste.  Our gracious words should add “flavor” to conversations.  Paul says to work on that.  Be gracious with your words and speak the Word of God so that you add something to the conversation.

What will the result of that be?  Paul says that we will then learn how to respond to each person.  The Spirit of God uses that effort to use gracious language, seasoned with salt, as a classroom for teaching us how to respond to people.  Often we are stumped as to how to respond to a person because the only thing we can think of is to respond in an ungracious, ungodly way.  The reason that is the only way we can think of responding is because that is how we normally respond!  If you doubt that, pay attention to yourself the next time you are driving alone.  How many idiots are on the road?  How many people have no clue what the speed limit is?  How many people should have their driving license revoked?  Maybe a better question would be how often did we speak gracious words seasoned with salt?  (Please read that carefully…I did not say salty words!)  Let me be even more brutally honest.  Aren’t the reasons we want to know how to respond to a person in a godly manner often not too godly?  We want to bite their head off but there are too many other people who know about the situation and we will look bad (think about the car again when no one is looking).  Maybe our goal is not to glorify God as much as it is a fear of the person retaliating even more?  If we are serious, and we really want to respond in a more godly way to people, then Paul tells us we learn that by ALWAYS speaking graciously with a touch of salt (the Word of God) added.

So, have I told you today how good looking you are?

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