How should I respond to others?

By: By Cathleen Cathcart - Contributing Columnist

In such times of debate, protests, and constant outbursts of violence due to social and political views… how should one react? We are certainly in times of high emotions, strained work relationships, and fear due to political correctness. As Christians, we have our belief just as others do, but how do we convey a message and share the good news of Jesus Christ and not get caught in the storms of arguing and becoming defensive? Well, lets look to the Bible!

Colossians 4: 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. We need to be wise in making the most of opportunities when speaking to people. We should always be gracious in what we say. If we leave a bad taste in someones mouth because of the way we reacted to them, they not only form a personal opinion of us… but everything we stand for!

We have a responsibility to be courteous, otherwise we will not be effective. When someone holds anger, spite, and ill will against us because of a flared temper, then they most likely will have the same feelings toward our personal faith. If they don’t like you… they won’t like what you believe in! Now, we are not to be a door mat for folks to walk all over, but we do need to be mindful of our behavior! We can be passionate without being violent or using aggressive speech.

“Seasoned with salt” means it should be tasty, flavorful, and leaving us with wanting more. Salt not only makes things savory and appealing to the tongue, but it also preserves, as well as heals. Thank about it… and that’s what Paul is saying our speech should do!

We need to redeem the time by taking advantage of every conversation to offer pleasant words that will preserve relationships and heal broken hearts. Stay focused. Stay in the Word. We must not get sidetracked with the whirlwind of opinions flying from day to day. Stay grounded and don’t argue for the sake of disagreement, but choose your words wisely. Leave people with something worth remembering!!!

I pray, “Lord, thank You for all Your blessings, and most of all Your Son Jesus. When I meditate on You, my attitude toward others starts to improve. I am forgiven, and I must have that same forgiveness to others. Help me when I’m discouraged by hurtful comments, and strengthen me to respond with the same grace You have shown to me. Let me be an encourager, and never inspire division! In Jesus’ name, amen.”

By Cathleen Cathcart

Contributing Columnist

Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.

Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.