There is an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This saying is partially true. The words may not hurt us physically, but they may wound us internally. With this being said, speaking to someone about their wrongdoing can be a difficult task for some of us. We are sometimes fearful of the person’s response, or we simply become intimidated by others. However, when we see someone doing wrong, we have a responsibility to address the matter before the person falls into something much worse.
We must lean heavily upon and exercise the Wisdom of God in addressing such matters. Approaching the situation with caution while waiting upon direction from God in how to properly address the concern is one thing. Going full speed ahead without Godly counsel is another. In one instance, you will help to deliver the soul of one. In the latter scenario, you risk losing the person and alienating them. In both scenarios, the guilty party will be held accountable for their actions and responses. But we must remember that we will be held accountable for how addressed the matter as well.
The Apostle Paul admonishes us to,
“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6).
The two key words in this passage are grace and salt. In this verse, the word grace simply means a kindness granted finding its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the giver. Salt has been used as a preservative for various items for years dating back to the beginning of time. It is almost mentioned in Numbers 18:19 to describe the covenant God had established with Aaron and his seed which was purposed to last forever.
With this in mind, we see that Paul was instructing us to be careful in our approach to address certain matters. We are responsible for the effort and not the outcome. If we sow a seed with a gracious spirit and seasoned with the right motives and words, we will have a greater opportunity to deliver a soul from destruction and preserve a relationship in the process.