everybody's talking...

 Many of you know - I am rarely short on words... I love to talk; I love to listen to others talk; I look forward to conversations with new friends, with co-workers, with family members... but most especially with "old" friends.

You know those friends... the ones that you have, at some point, lived life with.  When you text or email or talk on the phone, or the rare treat, that you actually see them, the conversation flows easily and naturally.  The only awkward piece is that there is just not enough time to really catch up, so you determine to set the next time to meet.

Then there are those very hard conversations - related to some difficulty or difference of opinion or, as often is the case, some misunderstanding that blossoms and then mushrooms into a rolling heavy snowball looking for something or someone to crush.  I don't know about you, but I do believe that the age old saying about how most of us handle conflict is true: fight or flight...  We either avoid at all costs, or quickly grab our boxing gloves, our arsenal of intense words ready for protective defense and opportunistic offense. 

Are you already thinking of a specific instance in your life?  I have a couple of vivid memories of difficult unpleasant moments that quickly flood my memory.  The hardest ones are those that come with no warning - we don't have a chance to prepare, to plan a strategy, to put on our gloves. I recently encountered a feisty gentleman who seemed extremely offended simply by my presence.  He interpreted the situation totally from his "defensive" perspective... probably didn't help matters that he was obviously intoxicated.  Thankfully the situation was diffused with a bit of explanation and my very patient husband.

So what are we to do - whether at fault of not?  Paul, my favorite, no nonsense - tell it like it should be - writer of 13 New Testament books in the Bible, gives us great advice.  Seems that in each of his letters to the churches, he was dealing with drama of some sort often around misunderstanding, misinformation, or just words...

I love how he brings the book of Colossians to a close in chapter four with his once again, practical, solid words to live by.

Beginning with verse 2 and following:  Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message... Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Okay, so what's your take-away to ponder from those verses.  Mine.... here is prescription for preparing for conversation, whether planned or unplanned: 

 Pray about everything, about every opportunity, about every coming conversation
Look for opportunities - be thankful in advance
Think about how others "see" you
(are you making the Father proud; are you representing His name and His character well?)
Be gracious with your words, season them with thoughtfulness, with kindness, with encouragement
Be ready to talk about Jesus

Next week let's chat about salt and how it works to season..  In the meantime.. pray, be thankful, and just chat!


  1. Awesome as usual Susan! It comes down to simple kindness of others, which this world so often tends to lack. EVERYONE can have a HUGE impact with the simplest of effort and action. GOD IS GOOD!

  2. I look forward to more. You are always encouraging us to grow. Thank you.