"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" - Col 4:6 (NIV).
Food without seasoning is generally bland. To make it palatable every fine cook loves to find spices which when added to a dish bring out a certain salivating taste. Spices which are drawn from seeds, roots or dried fruit, are very helpful whenever used to flavor dishes. For those who relish a good taste, they can easily notice when a dish is quite tasteless for not being flavored with mouth watering spices.
Now, just as with dishes, our speech can be bland too, not inviting, like a tasteless dish. There was once a couple in history who illustrates this point. When King David needed a certain favor from Nabal whom once he had helped out he instructed his men to "Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!" (1 Samuel 25:6). David instructed his men to use speech flavored with grace.
Unfortunately Nabal was the kind not to notice the difference. Instead in return, "Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? ...Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (vv 10-11). This was not short of insult and once the message was relayed back to David he wasted no time to mount an attack on Nabal.
What saved the day was that Nabal's wife, Abigail, knew the power of speech seasoned with grace. Upon hearing the imminent attack she hurried up to the advancing troops and bending on her knees pleaded with soothing words, "Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live" (vv 28).
Speech is not neutral and the words of Abigail coupled with her gifts touched the furious David who decided to pause and pull back. David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands" (vv 32-33).
Any of us could easily be given to the brutal tongue of Nabal which only induces wrath. However, when our speech is seasoned with grace as was with Abigail, we clearly invite favor upon our lives.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I pray that my speech may be seasoned with grace, to experience your favor and blessing, this I pray in Jesus's name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!