“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
In the time of Paul, salt was a preservative to prevent meat spoiling; it was valuable and used instead of money at times, and it also gave flavour to food. When Paul speaks of our conversation being full of grace and seasoned with salt, he is speaking of several things at once.
Our conversation with others should preserve the truth, the good news we were asked to share; it should be valuable, worth other people hearing; and it should also enrich, or add flavour to their lives. To be a Christian is not dull or boring, it’s life-giving in a whole new way – this is what should be shared with others. But our conversation also needs to be gracious, willing to discuss the concerns, questions and challenges of those we are in conversation with.
There are hymns about sharing what we know with others, though ‘Called by Christ to be disciples’ by Martin Leckebusch (Singing the Faith 660) speaks of spreading grace as well as the gospel. Another hymn, ‘May the God of hope go with us every day’ (Singing the Faith 411), translated by Alvin Schutmaat and Ann Mitchell, speaks of sharing our joy with all people – sharing the joy of the Christian life.
God of wisdom and truth
We thank you that we know you, that we know what a joy it is to live a life in you.
We thank you for the valuable gift that you entrust is with – the gospel.
Help us to share the joy we have with other people.
Give us wisdom and courage to share the good news,
that all may share in its value, and have their lives enriched by you.
We ask this in the name of the risen Jesus.