Grace, With A Little Seasoning
Today’s scripture selection: Colossians 3-4
Key verse: Colossians 4:6
I like how the apostle Paul says this to some of his fellow believers:
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
He’s talking about more than just how they should “converse” with one another.
He’s talking about all of us – and how we should treat one another.
On the one hand there is grace – a full dose of it.
Everyone needs grace in their life. Everyone needs someone who will listen to them; empathize with them; offer them a little forgiveness and more than a little understanding. Where would the world be without our offering grace to each other? I believe it would be in a far worse state than it already is.
On the other hand, grace cheaply offered – offered without “truth spoken in love” – well, it is cheap indeed.
As much as we need grace, we need others who will challenge us as well – call us – to be the best that we can be. And that means that sometimes, we need someone who won’t let us off the hook too easily. Confrontation can be caring in the deepest sense.
So let’s take Paul at his word – and his challenge.
Let’s be always careful in our dealing with others – careful and balanced. May we offer grace when needed. May we also offer honest, even “salty” counsel when needed.
That’s how we can have “conversations” that are both honest and compassionate.
Prayer: Lord, help me listen so that I can sense the need for grace. Give me courage so that I can honestly confront the wrong when I hear it. Teach me the virtue of balance in all I do. AMEN.
By Paul Simrell
The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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