Text: Colossians 4:2-6, Psalm 145:18-19, Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 5:16
If you want to experience heartache and hope in the same breath, read the “Missed Connections” section of Craigslist.
This regret-ridden virtual message board, similar to a milk carton ad for “missing persons,” contains the pleas of locals who cannot shake the weight of a missed opportunity. They lay awake at night, deciding that if different words (or words at all, for that matter) had been spoken to the girl across the room or the boy at the bus stop, they would be together frolicking in daffodils, tasting wedding cakes, or binge-watching Netflix. (A girl can dream, right?)
A few years ago, I might have been tempted to post my own message to that guy across the crowded room:
To the boy in my favorite coffee shop who asked if I was a football fan,
I said no because I was trying to play it cool. I’ve never missed a game.
Also, I just found out you happen to be our new quarterback. Let’s get married.
It’s just so embarrassing to feel misunderstood, isn’t it? But even worse, we can’t leave it alone. Our unquenchable need to be seen and heard curls its fists, marching backward and demanding another chance to be acknowledged. Vowing to only curate attractive qualities and pleasing viewpoints from then on, we rest assured people will treasure our perspectives forever. They don’t.
And yet it is our clumsy, shaky voices that are chosen to communicate something so precious: the gospel. This call is so high and so important that I immediately fear it. If my words are jumbled and my speech begins to stutter, can I cause someone to bypass an encounter with Christ?
As Paul wraps up his letter to the Colossians, he addresses these concerns, advising them to “act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time” (Colossians 4:5). He continues, “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).
Before our insecurities rise again, let’s focus in on the interesting way Paul uses the word “salt” here, because it changes everything. Friends, he’s talking about grace! Our job is simply to allow others to taste the salt of grace. We are side-by-side consumers of God’s provision, sharing plates with those around us.
Salt causes thirst. God’s Word doesn’t need our PR efforts. Its mere mention causes sin to salivate for grace. Our job is not to concoct our own savory presentation of the gospel; every ingredient was chosen to feed our own innate hunger. Instead, our task is to speak words from our personal thirst, pointing to the source of Living Water (John 7:37-39).
Salt is a preservative. Grace goes before and behind us, allowing even our faultiest efforts to proclaim His glory. Because of this, we don’t need to focus on results and reactions, but on the surety of God’s control. We can share generously and graciously from a sound-minded spirit.
God does not need us to share the good news, but He chooses us as His vessels of grace. As sharers of the gospel, our job description is less about defending our stance and more about gluing our eyes to His posture.
May the salt of grace season all of our encounters today, and may we be thankful for our God who never misses a connection. Amen.