Okay, so recently I've been doing some musing on conversation. In the Bible, the word conversation can mean your way of living, but in common usage it means the words that you share with others. No matter which definition you choose to go with, it is a struggle to keep a positive conversational outlook. It seems that everyone is complaining about gas prices, government, peoples' behaviors, and the list goes on and on... I mentioned my frustrations with this way of conversing to hubby the other day. I said "Look, the world has been going to end since it began, so I don't understand why everyone is so concerned with it all of a sudden!" It seems everywhere you turn, someone is saying something about stocking up, building shelters, or making other preparations for the next great disaster or a governmental shutdown or whatever.
The Bible states that God did not give us a "spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7). Also, Jesus talks about the blessings of a child-like faith in His teachings. Now, I look at my boys, and I realize that they have no idea the world's coming to an end, and (here's the important part!) I don't want them to!! How can they learn to be joyful and happy and loving if they grow up under a shadow of fear? Why don't they have this fear? Because they know that their parents and God will take care of them. I think God feels the same way about us. He wants us to grow and mature knowing that He is always there for us, no matter what happens in the world around us. He is the only thing we need to have "on hand" to be prepared for the coming days!
This leads me to the point of what I wanted to say. It seems that the Christians are not immune to the fearful "conversation" that the world seems to have. And, here's the crazy part...we have the Answer! We already know the "end of the the story" and our part in it! So why is it that Christians are just as quick to fall into the trap of fearful worrying and "what-if" conversations? My pastor has been teaching through the book of Colossians in our Sunday night services. Last night we were on Colossians 4:6. "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." He brought out the fact that the word "grace" in this verse comes from the Greek root "charis" which is where we get our word "charisma" from. It means positive, upbeat, cheerful. This verse is saying that we as Christians should make sure our speech remains positive throughout our day. With this goal in mind, it would be very difficult to complain, fret, worry, and "what-if" your way through life!
The next part of the verse mentions our speech being "seasoned with salt." Because my father has a thing for alliteration he stated this as "palatable." We as Christians should make sure our speech is something that others can hear, and are left with a pleasant "taste" in their mouth. That pretty much knocks out any other negative speech patterns that we find ourselves falling into! Criticizing, comparing people, and gossip have to be eliminated with this part of the verse!
The verse ends with "that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." This moves away from what we should not say into the realm of what we should say. We need to be prepared with a positive, palatable means of conversation in our lives. This will lead to our speech being a powerful tool in our Christian walk. We can use our conversational opportunities to bring people back to the Answer for all the problems...Jesus Christ!
So this is my personal mission for now. I am asking God to help me put a watch on my speech, so that I will be a more positive, palatable, and powerful witness for Him. I hope to be able to pass on the behavior to my boys as well. I bet there will be a lot less whining and fussing if we are all trying to be as positive as we can! I bet it would even work for grown-ups too... :)