The fateful Jambalaya
God began teaching me a lesson on the importance using our words wisely, several months ago when I had decided to make Jambalaya.
I found a fun recipe which called for cajun seasonings. Normally I blend my own, but while at the store I saw a pre mixed container and decided to grab it.
Once home, I decant it into my neatly organize spice drawer full of small mason jars. I follow the recipe explicitly, it smelled amazing and looked gorgeous.
I proudly set this masterpiece (one of my hubby’s favorite dishes) in front of him, I was sure of his total satisfaction. We both took that first bite, to my horror my mouth immediately went dry. Glancing quickly over at my hubby, despite trying to remain sweet and polite in account of my hard work on this dish, his face tells the story. Gulping down our bite we look at each other and say, “Salty, yuck!”
The splurge on shrimp was a total waste, I’m not even sure I can finish let alone take another bite. I choke down a couple bites, and Hubby, Bless his heart eats almost all of it. Laughing it off I vow to remember I can’t use too much of this salty seasoning.
If you can’t learn from your mistakes….
Fast Forward to a couple weeks ago, despite my best intentions, I never made any notes or reminders on this jar of seasonings, I completely forgot this sad salty tale.
Shrimp is on sale, I decide to make “Butter Cajun Shrimp”, which calls for, you guessed it… Cajun seasoning. A quick glance at my spice drawer, I can see the seasoning, sitting there innocently, awaiting my future faux pas.
Imagine a replay of the previous, this time I’m seriously kicking myself for not remembering. Hubby and I both laugh it off, because really, isn’t it the best medicine? And vow never to use it again, no really this time.
It got us thinking and discussing using our words wisely
This repeat blunder had my hubby and I talking, I said, “I should write a piece about this”. Something to the effect of actually putting into practice the lessons you learn in the kitchen. He chuckled and said, “Let your speech be seasoned with salt”.
Basically Using your words wisely, I’ll explain.
What the Bible says on salt
My hubby was referring to Colossians 4:6
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
You may or may not have heard sermons preached on the text, and or gone through devotionals/Bible studies covering this topic of “salt”.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses it’s flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
The meaning and weight of these scriptures sometimes get lost in our modern understanding of salt. If I’m being honest, our modern understanding of the importance of using your words wisely has also been somewhat lost.
During ancient times, salt was very valuable; in fact Salary (as in your paycheck) comes from the Latin word solarium, and has the root sal or salt. In ancient Rome, it specifically meant the amount of money allotted to a Roman soldier to buy salt, (sometimes even a portion of salt itself) which was an expensive, but essential commodity.
- Salt can be healing
- It can bring out flavors which without it go undetectable prior to its application
- It can preserve food
- Salt can keep ice from melting quickly, and is often used when making home made ice cream (and I love me some ice cream)
- If there is enough salt in a bath or body of water it causes you to float
- Salt when mixed with warm water can safely clean out sinus cavities or gargled to help heal a sore throat
- Salt can also be corrosive to metal and wood eating through the sides of ships and vehicles which reside near the ocean
Did you ever pour salt on a snail when you were a kid? No? Uhhh, I didn’t either. But I’ve heard from a “friend” it melts them like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Words can have a similar effect
As I started praying through and studying this further God continued to speak to my heart. Our words can have a similar effect, this is why using our words wisely is so important to His heart.
- Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are like honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
- Proverbs 15:23 -A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
- Proverbs 25:11 -A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Our Words can do good
- Our words can encourage someone who desperately needs it.
- Speaking the truth in love is a gift of authenticity.
- Bringing to light a hidden potential in someone, could change their life forever.
- We use our words to enter into the sacred covenant of marriage.
- The words I speak can communicate camaraderie and sympathy. God’s Words bring healing and hope to our lives and hearts.
Our words can do harm
- Our words can also do great harm.
- We say something we shouldn’t, or just simply say too much and ruin or hurt a friendship.
- The Holy Spirit nudges our hearts and rather than speak what He is whispering for us to, we give them a piece of our mind instead.
- We tear people down to make ourselves feel better.
- Maybe we speak too many words, not knowing when to stop?
Why it’s important to use our words wisely
Interesting how something so valuable and flavorful can be inedible with just a few extra pinches from the spice container, so can our words.
When the Bible talks about our speech being seasoned with salt, it means our words have weight. Our words can build up or destroy, cultivate love or hate.
James 3 talks in detail about how powerful the tongue is. Although small, like the rudder of a ship, it can steer it. James calls it an unruly evil full of deadly poison. He says, “out of our mouths come Blessing and cursing, it should not be this way.
Salt is likened to words in the Bible, so what do we do with this information?
If our words and mere presence are likened to salt in the Bible we should want to serve up enough to bring out the flavor in those we speak to and spend time with.
We should understand the value of our words, with the weight they carry. Promoting healing, being useful and valuable to those we meet and do life with. We do this because it is the example Jesus gave us, in correctly being identified as one of His followers.
Learning how to use our words wisely is a journey
I’m not perfect, I have a tendency to talk to much (picture my fateful Jambalaya). I know I get it right sometimes, and it gives me hope. I’d like to look more like Jesus and less like Caroline if I’m being honest.
My prayer is for God to show me the perfect amount of “seasoning salt” to add to a conversation, the amount that will not only make it digestible, but tasty.
I’d like to help bring the beautiful color and flavor out of something or someone, highlighting their hidden potential. I want to see people as Jesus does.
I also don’t want to be bland, or afraid to use the “salt” I’ve been equipped with, to speak the truth in love.
Sweet Jesus, make my words lovely and encouraging, watch over the door of my mouth letting nothing pass through that hasn’t been sanctified by you.
Let me seek to use this gift of speech, to draw out hidden beauty and flavor, to encourage and lift up.
Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit in me, as I know what comes out of my mouth is a result of what is in my heart.
I’m reminded that I can only achieve this with Your power and strength.
The last thing I want to do is serve someone who needs Jesus a mouth full of salty Jambalaya. So as this prayer rises up to heaven, I better go throw out that Cajun seasoning, before I forget….again.