Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
In my younger days, I was top sales person in the state for a rug company. My secret sales pitch was short. “Take a look around, see if you like any. There’s a try before you buy policy”, and then I’d walk off. I was not pushy. I didn’t follow them around the store. Climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t my intention, setting my sights instead on new life with my soon-to-be husband. Shoppers got to take any they liked home to try it in their space. We’d take a paper swipe of their card to charge if they returned it within 10 days.
My strategy for non-believing friends and family is completely the opposite. When I think someone’s not a Christian, I pull every sales ploy I can think of. I pray. I drench them in Christian music, Christian books, Christian conversation. I point them to several ministries. I even sometimes drop a ‘praise the Lord’, or ‘God is good’ to any sentence, sincerely, but still.
I seem to be a pushy Christian.
But really, we’re not talking about a rug. We’re talking about life v. death. Eternal presence with the Lord v. eternal separation and torment.
Considering this, there can be a tendency to freak out a little. My passion is clear when we’re talking about close friends or family!
In reality, pandering doesn’t win souls.
So what’s the deal? Is it overzealous compassion? A control issue? I used to feel it was my job to convert people who are in my life. Yet my own effort, has left me hopeless.
Todays verse reminds us to be salty. We’re supposed to make others thirsty for the Lord by joyfully sprinkling of grace. It doesn’t, however, say to force feed anyone the truth about God. A nicely seasoned dish induces appetite. By comparison, consider the awful taste of a salt-shaker bursting open over a meal.
After all, it is the Father who draws hearts near to Himself (John 6:44). It’s not our job to convert but to share the Good News. We just get to be an instrument of His grace, sharing a dash of love, compassion or joy. A little salt helps others to realize their thirst for Jesus, the Living Water. The Lord gracefully uses us, yet God does the work in their hearts.
And praise God, He lifts another burden off our shoulders. This gives more room for joyful grace to rest in it’s place.
Lord, center us in Your peace when we consider lost loved ones. You’re in control of the situations to draw hearts to You. Let us not be a hinderance to the work You’re already doing in their hearts. Let us instead be salty, not pushy, as You gracefully choose to work through us. ~Amen
For more on God’s role in pointing others to Christ, visit Fishers of Men