Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer each one. The conversation of believers is to have reference to "those without" as well as their personal behaviour.
I. THE NATURE OF SEASONABLE SPEECH.
1. It is to be "always with grace.
(1) It is to spring out of some grace of God in the heart, such as knowledge, joy, love, fear; to be seasoned with the recollection of God's grace to us in Christ (Psalm 40:11); and to minister grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).
2. It is to consist of gracious words.
(1) Not words of railing, or blasphemy, or corruption;
(2) but words that are
(a) seasonable (Proverbs 15:23),
(b) wholesome (Ephesians 4:29),
(c) kindly (Proverbs 31:26),
3. The conversation of believers is to be uniformly with grace. The precept is always in force. Much depends upon the continuity of a gracious habit of talk. It is to be exercised in all places, at all times, yet with due regard to what is seasonable or timely.
4. It is to be seasoned with salt. It is not to be insipid and without point, so as to be incapable of edifying man's spirit. It must have penetrative force, either for the purpose of directing the inquirer or answering the scoffer. The tongue of the wise is as choice silver;" "The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips" (Proverbs 10:20; Proverbs 16:23). Our Lord said," Every one must be salted with fire, every sacrifice must be salted with salt" (Mark 9:49). The person is salted first; the salt is found in his words and deeds afterwards.
II. THE END OF SEASONABLE SPEECH. "That ye may know how to answer each one." This implies:
1. That the truth will be spoken against.
(1) It is the heritage of "the sect everywhere spoken against" (Acts 28:22).
(2) It is hard for carnally minded men to understand it, and therefore they gainsay it.
(3) There are men who "hold down the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).
2. That believers are to learn how to give a right answer to objectors. We are to "give a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). It must be done
(1) prayerfully; for "the answer of the tongue," as well as "the preparation of the heart," "is from the Lord" (Proverbs 16:1).
(2) With faith in God's promise and hope (Psalm 119:42; Matthew 10:19).
(3) With a good conscience (1 Peter 3:16). Thus objectors will be put to shame who "falsely accuse our good conversation in Christ."
(4) With a due consideration for the circumstances of each objector, whether he be sincere or insincere, ignorant or malicious. We are "to answer each one" according to the necessities of each case (Proverbs 25:11; Proverbs 26:4, 6). - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.