July 2 – United – Colossians 4

Read Colossians 4:2-6

It happened more than I would have liked playing high school basketball. I’m playing defense and a guy comes across the lane. I have a hand on him so I can get decent positioning. However, the impact he makes with me backs me on my heels. Suddenly he has positioning on me. Before I know it, the ball is passed into him and, with a swift pivot and sky hook, he scores.

The next dead ball, a sub comes in and points at me. With a hop in my step, I jog to the bench only to see the glare from the head coach. I’ve seen that look many times before and it never seems to end well for me.

“Oh, boy. Buckle up, Jake.”

I take a deep breath.

“Ready? Okay, here goes nothing.”

I am met with the usual in-your-face screaming that you would expect from a marine drill sergeant. The words that I hear are ones I will never forget and ones that are beyond inappropriate for this devo. I knew what he was yelling about but didn’t pay attention to what he was saying. I guess it was a defense mechanism that I had developed over the years.

As the fury subsides, the assistant coach waves me over to the seat next to him and forces the rest of the bench to slide down one. As I sit, he puts his arm around me and asks, “Do you know what Coach was talking about?” He then walks me through what I need to do and how I need to initiate the contact with the player as he’s coming across the lane so he doesn’t catch me off balance.

When I consider the words of Colossians 4, I wonder how often my words are filled with grace and seasoned with salt. When I’m talking with both believers and unbelievers, are my words full of grace? Do I approach my conversations with love rather than bitterness? When I speak, are people turned off because of my history or do they lean in because we have built a relationship on trust and love?

In the same way, Paul tells us to have our words be “seasoned with salt”. This means that we need to sprinkle in some cold hard truth to our words. We cannot be all fluff and no meat. There comes a time when you need to tell people what they need to hear rather than what will just make them all warm and fuzzy.

Take an inventory of your relationships and the words that you use. Do people lean in when you talk or do they sit back? Are you communicating love and respect or is it bitterness and hate? Do you shy away from the truth or do you communicate it openly?

Are you seeking unity or division?

As followers of Christ, the words are crystal clear.

Never shy away from the truth. However, we are called to communicate that truth in love and grace.

Jake Lawson

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