Curious thing. Checking the Greek text underlying our English translation is this word translated “conversation”. The Greek word behind it is the same word we use in John one concerning the Christ. He is the Logos. This conversation is our logos. Now logos literally translated is “word”, and so we refer to Christ in John one as the “Word” of God. But what is the “word” of us?
If we refer back to John one for a moment, we find that the Word was in the beginning with God, was with God, and was God. God and His Word are synonymous. The Word that went out from God and became flesh was His real representative in every way that matters. Jesus, this Word made flesh, represented God’s grace, kindness, holiness, and at times, His necessary judgment. Jesus represented the very nature of God, but in flesh, so that we could see Him and hear Him.
Now consider for a moment what effect your words have on others. Your words go forth and represent who you are. You are your words. And even words that “slip out” represent the heart that uttered them. Hence James says that the tongue has yet to be tamed. Why? Because the heart is deceitful and wicked, and only the Lord can change it. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
So this warning is actually quite timely. Just as Jesus is the Word of God, so to your “word” ought to be gracious, “seasoned with salt”, and full of answers for the hope within you. You might be wondered what “seasoned with salt” might mean. I doubt it means you need to have “salty” language. “Salty” language implies you spread plenty of expletive in your conversation that offers bites and jabs at the conscience, to call attention to your speech, because it just isn’t interesting without it. I believe rather that “seasoned with salt” implies that your conversation is flavorful. People will want to hear what you say because you speak in a way that is inviting and encouraging. And if you are talking about the gospel, how could it ever be boring?
Lord Jesus, help me today to tame my tongue, to make my conversation inviting and interesting, because You are on my lips. May my word go forth from me, representing not my fallen and corrupted heart, but the new heart You gave me at baptism, renewed, recreated in me as a heart of flesh rather than stone. Thank You Jesus for calling me Your own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.