Flourishing Day 15 Speak Life: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, Speak Life!

Colossians 4:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

The Questions

1) Who are the outsiders?

2) How can we be gracious in our conversations?

3) Where does the salt metaphor come from?

The Findings for Intention

1) Who are the outsiders?
The verses before these two are filled up with teachings on how to interact in real life with the people around you. Husbands, wives, employers, parents, children, and co-workers are all given as examples, with the undergirding teaching being to treat them with love, forgiveness, thankfulness, and without partiality. These two verses are a continuation of that line of thought, except extending it beyond our immediate circle of fellow believers to those specifically “outside” the faith, those who do not believe.

2) How can we be gracious in our conversations?
When we are angry and tense, our speech and our body language reflect exactly that….and it’s not pretty. Even if we have learned to more carefully choose our responses when we are angry, there’s nothing super inviting about us in those moments. For us to speak graciously, seasoned with salt, our hearts must be at peace. Backing up to 3:16, we see that the key to a peaceful heart is one that dwells continuously on the word of Christ. The Word of God that teaches, convicts, opens the door for praise and deep gratitude to the Lord, is the same Word that allows us to interact with graciousness, especially to those we may not agree with or are outside the family of believers.

3) Where does the salt metaphor come from?
In the Old Testament, the Lord made a specific command that every burnt offering should be seasoned with salt (Leviticus 2:13, Ezekiel 43:24). It was declared as a salt covenant between Himself and His people. In ancient times, salt was a rarity and not only was it used to preserve food and add flavor, it also was used as a sign of a perpetual covenant. In the New Testament, the Lord adds a deeper meaning by calling His disciples to add this preserving quality reminiscent of an offering to our conversations. In other words we could restate the verse like this: “Let your conversations be gracious, viewed as an offering to the Lord, and used as a tool to point others towards the eternal covenant of redemption found in Jesus Christ.”

The Everyday Application

1) Who are the outsiders?
We all carry stigmas and prejudices whether we realize it or not. Some may be obvious and you might be aware of them, some sneak up on us and we quickly make a judgment based on our previously decided bias. Tattoos. Alcohol consumption. Swimwear. Leggings. Makeup. Music choices. How the toilet paper is attached to the roll. Likely, you have some opinions on all of these in varying degrees of intensity. Which is totally fine! The real question is how will we treat someone who differs in their opinion, especially if they are an “outsider” and haven’t recognized the incredible love of Jesus for them. Are we willing to lay aside our biases for the kingdom? None of the above are listed as outright sins in the Bible. (Except toilet paper. Kidding!) In all of the above cases, it’s about the heart behind the choice. Next time you see a choice on someone else that prickles your skin, choose love instead of bias. Choose to speak life into them and not let your own prejudice hinder God’s work!

2) How can we be gracious in our conversations?
We all struggle with communication in one form or another, so take these verses as a personal challenge. Take a week and make reading God’s Word a very intentional choice. Approach it humbly and with great expectation, asking the Holy Spirit to simply show you more of God’s glory. Read His Word like it was oxygen. Dwell on it. Insist on it. See if your conversations become more gracious as you learn to rely on Jesus instead of yourself in your relationships with people!

3) Where does the salt metaphor come from?
Have you ever considered your conversations to be an offering to the Lord? Whether it’s the barista making your coffee, the teller at the bank, the elderly person in front of you, or the weary mom wrestling her toddler, take the opportunity to enter into conversations as if they were an offering to God. Use them to point others towards Him and bring encouragement. Even in the middle of tension and conflict, we can remain grounded in the peace of Christ, and still season our conversations with salt!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Speak Life!
Sign up to receive every Journey to your inbox!

I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into
Flourishing Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.

Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Flourishing!