Written by Larry M. Jaynes:
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
The word “speech” in the Greek text is the word logos. This word is usually translated in the Bible as “word” and is used for the Word of God itself. In the phrase “let your speech be always with grace” we are exhorted to speak kindly and affectionately with the favor and authority of God’s own grace. How often have we heard hellfire and brimstone accompanied with negatives relating to God, or His Word? Here in Colossians 4:6, God exhorts us to speak of His loving favor to others rather than about wrath and condemnation. We can authoritatively speak about the true grace of God because we were saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8).
The phrase “. . . seasoned with salt” means to present God’s grace in a savory and flavorsome way to others as it has been (or at least should have been) spoken to you. God obviously foresaw that His Word would at times be mishandled, wrongly interpreted, and spoken with venomous wrath and condemnation, and even in hypocrisy to others. Salt in the Bible is not only used as a preservative but it also represents one’s commitment and dedication to God. We are saved for eternity and have been entrusted with God’s Word (II Corinthians 5:19). As we ourselves become committed to His Word, He then kindly asks us to speak His Word entrusted to us with grace (I Corinthians 5:18-20).
Then the next phrase in Colossians 4:6 is “. . . that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” We cannot answer until a question is put forth. As others become aware of our Christian standing and see our excitement, they will without a doubt begin to ask us questions. Some people may be very sincere (perhaps they are searching as we have done in the past). Others may ask with other motives. Either way, God wants us to be prepared to speak of His divine grace. As we answer in the way God encourages us to, others will see our commitment and dedication to Him, which will promote our genuine sincerity as well as placing God in the favorable light due to Him (I Peter 3:15).
This is why the verse preceding Colossians 4:6 states “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without . . .” To walk in the wisdom of God’s gracious Word toward them who are without may be the key factor in someone’s decision to make the ultimate confession in Romans 10:9-10 and live a life with God in His loving abundant grace, as we have.