Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 ESV)
Speaking with kindness goes a long way because it doesn’t put anyone in a defensive mindset. Words have a wonderful way of inspiring and encouraging people to do something good. They can make people laugh and smile, and they can console sadness and ease anxieties. It is interesting that we tend to remember feelings more than words. And yet words have a way of evoking feelings, good and bad. I believe that is why we need to season our speech with salt because it is a flavor enhancer and preservative.
Do people gravitate towards you, or do they stay away? Do you build them up, or tear them down? Do you publicly honor, or do you gossip? Do you forgive, or do you condemn? Have you paused to think about what the Lord would say in any of your conversations?
The one thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as a “take-back” after you verbally say something, especially if it was terribly offensive or demeaning. The old advice of not saying anything if it isn’t nice was most likely inspired by God. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).