It always makes me giggle when I see the goodies that she and I bring to "patio time". Gretchen always provides something salty, while I usually bring something sweet. Together, we have a delightful mix of flavors. Recently, I saw a product on the grocery store shelf that would be a great addition for "patio time". It was called "M & M's Sweet and Salty" and would satisfy the cravings of both me and my precious friend. Not only did the contents contain chocolate M&M's, but also salty pretzels and nuts. To be sure, it is perfect combination! In truth, our words should be sweet and salty as well.
The Bible teaches us that "pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones". (Proverbs 16:24 NIV) More times than I can count, the sweetness of a kind word from my friend has pulled me from despair. The encouragement one finds in such words cannot be measured, only experienced. For pleasant words are sweet and bring healing to a heart battered and bruised by life's tribulations. Without question, the LORD desires that our words be sweet.
Furthermore, I can always count on Gretchen to hold me accountable with the truth of God' unfailing Word. The transparency and honesty I experience with her leads me to seek truth about who I am in Christ, rather than the lies of the world. For my friend's words are not only sweet, but also filled with salt.
Historically, salt has been used both for flavor and preservation. Scripture instructs us to " have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other". (Mark 9:50) As Christians, our conversations should be seasoned with love and bring us closer to one another in the LORD. Our words should both comfort and challenge us to be more like Christ. Going further, the words we choose should preserve our relationships and cause us to thirst for absolute truth as we humble ourselves before God.
Words are powerful tools. Daily, we use them to either build up or tear down those placed in our circles of influence. If we are wise, we will choose to speak truth with love. For it is those types of conversations which best illuminate the love Christ has for us and our need for His forgiveness and grace. The best friendships are both sweet and salty. Maybe the makers of M & M's are onto something good!