Drench Your Words in Grace

It starts here,
Man A says, “The scripture means this.”

Responses follow,
Man B says, “You’re wrong; I’m right.”
Man C says, “Interesting; tell me more.”
Man D says, “Maybe yes, maybe no?
Man E says, “You’re a heretic and a liar!”

The screaming of Man E
echoes
the loudest.

Whether right or wrong on interpretation,
may voices question motives
cautiously.

Christians condemning Christians
does not
make God look good.

Grace in the discussion
is a more godly path
for advancing the Kingdom.

I wish we could
live it
that simply.

May it begin
with me.
What will I say?

Let every word you speak
be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity.
For then you will be prepared
to give a respectful answer
to anyone who asks about your faith.
Colossians 4:6

* * *

When you disagree on scripture interpretations,
how do you still hold to truth
without maligning others’ character?

revised from the archives

35 thoughts on “Drench Your Words in Grace

  1. Dianna

    I would like to think I’d answer a bit like Man B…”interesting tell me more” because I think at times I “judge” before hearing where a person is really coming from. I SO agree with you when it comes to realizing that when we speak without our speech being seasoned with grace that it makes God look bad and leaves a bad taste in other’s mouths. I’ll be thinking on this throughout the day today.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m guilty too, Dianna. It’s easy to start judging before we even hear what a person is saying. 🙁 Thankful for God’s grace for each of us, and for the possibility for growth!

  2. Michele Morin

    This is such a great way of interpreting Paul’s words, and I’d add that I need God to drench my THOUGHTS in grace first so that my words come out a bit sweeter. We do forget that our responses leak beyond the Christian community and poison unbelievers’ perception of God.
    Thanks, Lisa, for your good thinking on all this.

  3. Linda Stoll

    Grace seems to be in short supply. I’d expect it to be so in the world, but when it’s hard to find among God’s people, it certainly gives cause for pause.

    I had to apologize to a loved one a few days ago because of my snarky comments. She was gracious to me in return …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t it lovely when we receive grace? It inspires us to give it more often. Thanks for sharing that, Linda. We’re all still human but are blessed to have an abundant supply of grace given to us to hand back out.

  4. bill (cycleguy)

    I love the passage in Psalm 141:3 Lisa: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” I learned I needed this verse the hard way years ago. I try to keep that idea before me and hopefully before I spout off.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That verse in Psalm 141 would be appropriate to place over our doorposts, both our literal doors and the figurative one to our mouths. Thanks for including that here, Bill!

  5. Betsy de Cruz

    I like answer B, like Dianna above! I think I first heard about saying, “Tell me more” on your blog, Lisa! And I’ve since seen it other places. Such a life-giving thing to say, and it reminds us to listen well.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “Tell me more” is a phrase I need to use more often in so many situations. Most people are eager to tell us more if we’d just be willing to listen. Thanks, Betsy.

  6. Trudy

    This is such a great reminder, Lisa. I love how the version you used says to “drench” our words with grace. And like Michele mentioned, I need my thoughts to be drenched with grace, too. Sometimes I may not say anything, but my thoughts are not grace-filled. 🙁 Thank you for this! Love and hugs to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, that word “drench” really caught my eye too, Trudy! I imagine it as a waterfall that we can stand under and get wet from head to toe in grace. Sounds good to me!

  7. Barbara H.

    I’m guilty, too, of judging and gathering my defenses before even hearing someone out. I often remind myself of James 1:19: be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” as well as the verse in Psalm 141 that Bill mentioned.

    Years back we knew a man who was quite abrasive, not only in his defense of truth, but also in his own opinions and preferences, which he set right up there with clear Biblical truth. When someone called on him on it, he defended it and likened himself to an OT prophet. I didn’t know how to respond to that then, but just now I thought, “You know, God hasn’t called us to speak like an OT prophet. We’re specifically instructed ‘not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness'” (2 Timothy 2:24-25a). I don’t know that I would have had the courage to say it, especially to someone not likely to receive it well, but I wish I had thought of it. 🙂

    Interestingly, I just noticed the verse before that one says, “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” There are times to graciously take a stand for truth, but some things we can let go of as not worthy of any more thought or conversation.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Great commentary, Barbara! I probably wouldn’t have said much to that man either. But I like your response after-the-fact. (That’s usually when the greatest ones come, right? ha) And yes, the followup verse puts it all in perspective. There are some conversations we just need to avoid altogether because they serve no purpose. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

  8. Becky Hastings

    “Christians condemning Christians
    does not
    make God look good.

    Grace in the discussion
    is a more godly path
    for advancing the Kingdom.”

    Yes. 100x yes. This is the piece so many of us (me included) miss. Such good advice here. Gladly sharing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know I’m guilty of judging others too quickly and incorrectly myself, but when I see others do it, I see how ugly it looks. 🙁 Thanks for sharing, Becky.

  9. Theresa Boedeker

    I tend to jump to conclusions quickly and try and convince the other person. What I need to do is listen more. Ask questions. Try and see their viewpoint. Then think before I speak. I can always politely agree to disagree.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’ve got it, Theresa. If we could all follow that path—listen, ask, see, think, politely disagree if necessary—we’d have a better reputation in the world than the one we currently have.

  10. Karen Woodall

    The older I’ve gotten the more I realize the necessity of giving generous amounts of grace to everyone. While we never need to compromise the message, we also need to remember that we’ll never bring anyone to know Jesus by arguments. In fact, Jesus never debated with those who opposed Him. He preached uncompromising righteousness and some rejected it and Him. But others listened. We need to look a little closer at His example. thanks!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t it amazing when we look at Jesus’s example and see how differently he responded than the ways we often do? When I see his very few words to Pilate, I’m always taken aback. We tend to want to defend our reputation at all costs. But if Jesus didn’t feel that urgency, why should we? Thanks for your insights, Karen. I agree with you!

  11. floyd samons

    Good one, grandma!

    When pride rears it’s ugly head and has to be right, God isn’t the goal of the of the one that insists on it.

    Humility, our word, always points to the One who wrote The Book…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I wish I could kill pride once and for all. But it seems to be a slow death….

      And for the record, I am LOVING being a grandma. 🙂 So much fun! Thanks, Floyd.

  12. Crystal

    Great wisdom here, Lisa! I can bring to mind so many times within church that divisions were unnecessarily created for lack of grace-filled debates. Love the image the word “drench” brings to mind. There is no mistaking that kind of grace!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve seen those unnecessary divisions, too, Crystal. Oh for the wisdom to turn the clock back and have do-overs for those times we haven’t given grace as we were given grace.

  13. Jean Wise

    Great post. Just had this discussion with a friend. His sister in law died and the family never notified him. He was so hurt and angry. We talked and he decided to write a note of sympathy and comfort saying in such a grace filled way he would have come had he known but understood how crazy and emotionally draining those times were and wanted them to know he was praying for them. A few days later he got an apologetic phone call from the brother in law and they mended fences and even built a stronger relationship. All because he lead with grace, not angry. Good lesson for me to watch unfold. One I won’t forget.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Wow–that’s an inspiring story, Jean! Thanks for taking the time to share it here. I’m sure it will resonate with many of us and set an example to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We may sometimes feel vulnerable when we give away grace—and sometimes we may even be taken advantage of—but it’s still worth it. Your friend showed courage when he wrote the sympathy card full of such grace. I’m glad he was rewarded for it in ways he could see.

  14. Laura Thomas

    I would LOVE my words to be drenched in grace! Honestly, I’m not one for verbal confrontation or screaming the loudest, but that doesn’t mean my thoughts are all goodness and light. But if my heart and then my thoughts are grace-filled, there’s more chance my words will come out that way, too. Thanks for sharing, Lisa! Stopping by from #sittingamongfriends 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hear you, Laura. I’m not typically the loud type either, but that doesn’t mean my thoughts are pure. 🙁 So glad we can pray for grace-drenched thoughts so that our words will reflect it, whether loud ones or quiet ones. Thanks for stopping by!

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