featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Grace seasoned words

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Have you ever been encouraged or built up by something someone said to you? Maybe it was a compliment, some words of affirmation, or just kindness expressed in words. I would gather those well-seasoned words brought out good feelings. They may have even given you a more positive outlook on the day or longer. Appropriate, mindful, and honest words of affirmations empower, embolden, bring healing, bring help, give direction, give insight, and help us believe in the person God created us to be.

Careless words can do the opposite. Have you ever been hurt by something someone said? Maybe it was a harsh judgement or an unkind word, or being called a derogatory or sarcastic name, or being falsely accused, or berated with a list of inflated shortcomings. It hurts. Now sure, each circumstance is unique, and a word meant to be helpful, like when a coach is tough on us or a boss/teacher/leader needs to correct an action, it can trigger some hurtful thoughts within us, though the words were not meant to be hurtful at all.

The reality is words are powerful and it would be wise if we were careful with this, seasoning them with love and grace. Love, meaning thinking of how those words will be received, and grace, meaning in kindness regardless the circumstances of the moment. The Bible has a lot to say about our speech.

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Psalms 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We need to be careful with our words, both in private and in public. Yes, the media loves to propagate negativity as it tends to attract more views. Yet, the damage is real and hurtful. We need grace seasoned words.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

As someone who uses a lot of words, it is easy to slip up and let emotions push us to be reactive and not careful, yet we can still seek to use more grace seasoned words. Let’s be those people who encourage and build up with our words.

Attending church can help us with our words as it helps the core of our being, our heart. Out of what fills our heart comes our words Matthew 12:34. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to use grace seasoned words along with you,

Mike McKay