A New Dial Tone

by DanWolgemuth on October 18, 2019

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5–6, ESV)

Gracious speech. Seasoned with salt.

It was just yesterday, I was driving home and merging onto Arapahoe Road, just a mile from my office. The car in my rearview mirror raced around me, the young man driving the vehicle pulled up at my side… both our windows were closed, but he was screaming at me, his face red, veins popping in his neck, and a hand gesture that amplified the entire moment.

Anger. Hate. The new conversational dial-tone of our culture.

Social media simply accelerates the velocity of discord. It’s anger at the speed of light. It’s hatred in viral exposure.

But God. In Jesus. Through Jesus, shows us a new way.

Intensity with gentleness. Truth without rancor. Passion without polarization.

Jesus did it. Jesus taught it.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

If I follow Him, I follow this. Not just civil, but loving. To people who flip me off. To drivers who hate my driving. To those who hate my agenda. To others who belittle my beliefs. To people who vote against the candidates I support. And yes, to people who support the candidates, and policies, and practices that I find offensive or sinful. I love, because He loved… me.

Even typing the words convicts me… even typing the words gives me pause… really? I don’t simply pick my side, embrace my crew, and raise my fist to the opposition. No. Really.

Even the fiercest and most ardent opponents of Jesus couldn’t fight with Him. They could kill Him, but they couldn’t fight with Him. Not because He was weak, but because He took strong to a new level. A righteously grace filled level.

Speech, seasoned with salt. Righteous and respectful.

If followers of Jesus don’t lead the way, who will?

Let your speech always be gracious…


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