I’ve been blogging a little over 5 years now and my software has an interesting feature that lets me generate a word cloud. A word cloud takes the most used words and displays them so that each word’s size corresponds to how often it’s used. Here’s what it looked like:
Not too many revelations, I suppose, considering my chosen topics. But really, we are all known by our speech (or writing). You could easily tell the difference between Abraham Lincoln, Will Rogers and Gloria Steinem just from tone and topic. So too, as followers of Christ, we should be easily distinguished by the tone and topic of our conversation. This verse gives us three key tips.
Grace – The tone and content of our words should be gracious, conveying a love and kindness to the person to whom we are speaking, even if that kindness is undeserved.
Seasoned with salt – If our words are just feel-good platitudes, slogans or sermonettes, they will easily be dismissed. Instead, our speech should be marked by authenticity and compassion.
Knowing how to answer – This requires active listening and hearing, not jumping to an immediate solution to someone’s else’s problem.
Underlying all of these principles is the idea that we follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting. He leads into conversations, guides us during them and ensures their lasting effects.
What was the last good conversation you had? What made it memorable?