THE WORD: Speak with grace 

“Saint Paul” by Vieira Lusitano (1740) is in the collections of the Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. (Public Domain) 

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” Colossians 4:6

The New Testament has a great deal to say about speech.

Jesus spoke of men’s words — idle words which have to be accounted for in the judgment, contemptuous words which bring upon him who uses them severe condemnation, words which test life — by which one is either justified or condemned.

Paul, too, refers to speech. Here we have a very suggestive exhortation on the subject. Our speech should always be with grace. Grace means fitting, beautiful. We should learn to speak so that our tones of voice and our manner of speech shall be winning and attractive.

Grace means also something under divine influence. We should speak words permeated with love and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

A Christian should always speak to please God.

Our speech should be “seasoned with salt.” Salt purifies. Our words should be pure and cleansing — loving, gentle, helpful, inspiring.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place — but rather thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4  


J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.