This week, I started a Bible Study on Colossians and boy oh boy it has been one heck of a challenge. This study was made by the amazingly talented Gretchen Saffles from Life Lived Beautifully, now Well-Watered Women, and the intent of this study was to give you an outline to study the Bible for yourself. This has always been a big struggle of mine. I love for people to spoon-feed the Bible to me and explain everything with pretty words that are beautifully strung together to make sentences that actually make sense.
The first 5 days of the study, it tells you to read through the entire book of Colossians. Each time I read through it, one verse in particular struck my soul deep as if the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something. DUH, Anna Jo, listen! The verse (Colossians 4:6) so simply says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
I read that verse and immediately gasped out loud. I thought to myself, “Is my speech always gracious? HA, heck no. Is it gracious even a little bit? Barely…” Y’all, I’m not kidding, this simple verse struck me to my core. And that’s when I knew God was trying to do something within me that I pray very frequently. He was trying to “create in me a pure heart”. I pray this little phrase over my life all the time but I pray it so often that those six little words become sorta numb to me. But once I read that verse in Colossians those words came to life in a real and tangible way.
I realized very quickly that I have a really hard time being a grace speaker and Lord knows I am not the only one. How often are we so quick to say negative things about people, sometimes (a lot of times) even our friends? When we speak words of hate or bitterness, does it just flow out of our mouths or are we convicted right as the thought enters our minds? I can’t even count how many times something came out of my mouth today that was the complete opposite of gracious and that hurts my heart. It hurts to know that I can be so quick to speak something without a hint of grace and walk right through my day without giving it a second thought.
If you go back a few verses in Colossians it explains what being a “grace speaker” entails, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against one another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds all things together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:12-14) Because if we do as those verses command us to do, there is no room in our hearts for any ungracious words. We should be tattooing grace on our lips as we wake up every morning reminding us to think before something sneaks out of our mouths that we can’t take back. (No, not a real tattoo, calm down. (; )
So this week, specifically, I’m putting my heart in check. I’m going to try each and every day to speak words of grace and I want to challenge you to join me in this. It’s not going to be easy, because we are human and deeply flawed, but in doing so God will slowly but surely create in us pure and righteous hearts. I’m tattooing grace on my lips this week, will you join me, sister?
From one ungracious speaker to another, Happy Wednesday.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.