I came across this verse in a recent reading of Colossians 4 in The Message:
Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
I love the simple freedom of being in a conversation looking to bring the best out in someone else, rather than getting my agenda all worked out. And it puts the focus not on what we say so mcuh as how it is responded to. They key is to ensure that it comes to them with grace. What does that look like? The same day I read that in a morning time of reading, I got an email from someone I’d crossed paths with on a recent trip. She wrote later to thank me and I loved what she wrote:
Thank you for talking with me the other night. I went home and thought about everything we discussed and somehow felt a little more at peace with my situation. I went to work with a different attitude and had a much better day. I felt as if God told me that He intends to answer my prayers in a little while, to hang on, that He has been working it out.
This journey is so amazing. I have grown to not know what to expect. I assumed that God was being silent in some areas of our life and yet in talking with you guys it’s clear that it’s not the case. I felt so loved and treated like a more mature person instead of a baby Christian. I am getting meat and a lot less milk. I hadn’t thought of it that way and it’s given me more freedom. It’s caused me to heighten my attention to His leading and teaching…
When people try to convince me that fellowship is an obligation, I think of moments like this. Who needs to be obligated to share this kind of life together? This is what fellowship is at its essenceâ€”the chance to help each other see Jesus a bit more clearly and understand what he is doing in our lives.
If that’s what fellowship does in someone’s life, who wouldn’t crave it every chance they had?