Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6, ESV)
In thinking about this verse, I jotted down a few others as a commentary on the ways in which our speech should be gracious.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)
2. Be tender
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV)
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19–20, ESV)
4. Teach and challenge
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16, ESV)
5. Give Life
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Proverbs 10:11, ESV)
6. Testify to our faith
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
I realize that not all of these may seem like “imparting grace”, especially if you’re on the receiving end of, say, a rebuke. But which is gracious: allowing someone to continue on a dangerous path or flagging them down and warning them of the impending hazards of the trail they’re traveling? It is God’s plan for us to speak grace to people. Let’s see what ways we can put these into action this very day.