Thursday, January 13, 2011

Salty Conversation

I'm a huge fan of salt.

I'm even kinda picky about my salt. This is the brand I use:

I drive to a specialty spice store here in Kansas City to purchase it, and I use it for everything. Baking, cooking. You know, your basic salt needs. I'm fascinated by how many recipes call for salt. Ever made chocolate chip cookies and left out the salt? They don't taste quite as good. They lack dimension. Same with blueberry muffins. I made that mistake a few weeks ago, and the muffins just tasted flat to me.

This has left me sensitive to every mention of salt in the Bible, and during my reading time on Monday, I came across this beautiful passage:

"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." Colossians 4:5-6

My friend, Roseanna, and I are reading the same chapter every day and then discussing it with each other. She pointed out some things that really stuck with me, and rather than botch her insights, I'll just copy her words verbatim:

Salt has several properties we have to keep in mind when considering this.
First, it's a preserver. So when we offer words that have salt, they ought
to be preserving the faith of those we're talking to. Second, salt is
flavor and seasoning. So our speech ought to offer something to appeal. But
more important, salt is a thirst-inducer. So our words ought to make people
thirst for God.

As I continue to mull this over, my eye kept catching on Paul's choice of "seasoned with salt."

My mother is a fabulous cook, but I can remember two meals that were utter failures. The time she fixed shark (no comment) and then the time she made what we refer to as "the salty soup." I don't know what exactly happened there, but I remember taking a bite and the salt overwhelmed my mouth. It was the only bite I took, and then we all ate peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

I think there's a reason Paul specifies to season our conversation. To season something is to heighten and perfect the flavor. And it's different for each taste bud, which I suppose is where that "so you may know how to answer everyone" thing comes into play. Because everyone is at a different place in life, has a different family history, different religious background. That must be taken into account. As Paul says, "we must be wise in the way you act toward outsiders."

I love this verse. And I suspect I'll spend many more hours dwelling on it.

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out and


Pepper said...

Wonderful reminders, Stephanie
And I have a certain affinity for spices since my name is Pepper :-)

Isn't it a beautiful thought to think about God sprinkling His kids upon the Earth to add the spice of His love to this world.

I love it!


Pepper Basham

Stephanie Morrill said...

Pepper is an awesome name. It makes me think of Iron Man, which I'm sure you get a lot :)

Emii said...

Wow, I love that verse. I'm putting it on my wall.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! And I really liked Roseanna's insights. I remember being told once that in the spirit of discipling, as we're told to do in Mark 16:15, we should be pushing everyone a little closer to Jesus in everything we do. I've also been exploring what it means to give glory to God in everything I do. I think both of those fit perfectly with what you brought up today - thank you for sharing!