“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)

The old saying about sticks and stones is not true. Words can and do sometimes hurt. Words are meaningful and how you use them makes all the difference in relationships. Words have power to heal or hurt.

Think of people you love to talk to, what draws you to them? What makes their conversation so enjoyable? You naturally avoid people who insult you or speak with a condescending tone. You are more likely to share your thoughts with those who respond positively in an attitude of love. It’s natural to be attracted to someone who affirms your worth with warm, timely words.

This “power of words” is why the apostle Paul was so concerned about communication. And when he talks about “knowing how to answer everyone” he’s not just talking about what you say but I believe he’s also talking about how you say it. That’s why it’s vital to pack every word with the flavor of God’s love. One taste of His grace may be all someone needs to be attracted to the message you bear as a representative for the Lord. The potential cost of the “sticks and stones” of an angry insult or a thoughtless remark can be high. But self-control and will-power is not really our challenge when it comes to being careful about what you say. Our challenge is what’s in our heart. Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”  (Matthew 12:34)