“Let Your Utterance Be Always . . . Seasoned With Salt”
1. What does it mean to ‘season our utterances with salt’?
1 “Let your utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt, so as to know how you ought to give an answer to each one.” (Col. 4:6) Seasoning our utterances with salt means choosing correct words and speaking in a manner that will make our comments palatable to the hearer. Doing so while sharing in the ministry is very important.
2. How was Jesus able to witness to a Samaritan woman?
2 Jesus’ Example: While resting near a well, Jesus took the initiative to speak to a Samaritan woman who approached to get water. Several times during the conversation, she raised points reflecting the long-standing feud between the Jews and the Samaritans. She also expressed her belief that the Samaritans descended from Jacob, though the Jews felt strongly that Samaritans descended from foreigners. Rather than taking exception to her comments, Jesus kept the conversation positive. As a result, he was able to give a witness that benefited her and the men of the city.—John 4:7-15, 39.
3. How may we follow Jesus’ example when we are in the ministry?
3 As we preach we should keep in mind our objective—to “declare good news of good things.” (Rom. 10:15) We want to share with the householder an appealing and upbuilding thought from the Bible, not give him the impression that we are attacking his personal beliefs. If he expresses a wrong viewpoint, our reply need not challenge him. Is there something in his comment that we can agree with or use as a basis for genuine commendation? Perhaps we could introduce a scripture by saying, “Have you ever considered this as a possibility?”
4. What should we do if the householder is abusive?
4 What if the householder is abusive or it is apparent that he just wants to argue? We should continue to demonstrate gentleness and mildness in our bearing and words. (2 Tim. 2:24, 25) If the individual does not appreciate the Kingdom message, it is best to excuse ourselves tactfully.—Matt. 7:6; 10:11-14.
5. How did one sister experience good results from replying with graciousness?
5 Good Results: When a sister tried to witness to her neighbor, the woman erupted angrily, using profanity. In a kind manner, our sister said: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Please, have a good day.” Two weeks later, the woman knocked on the sister’s door, apologized for her conduct, and expressed a willingness to listen to what the sister had to say. A gracious reply often gets good results!—Prov. 15:1; 25:15.
6. Why is it important for us to use seasoned speech in the ministry?
6 Endeavor to use seasoned speech when declaring the good news. Even if the householder is unreceptive, he may be more willing to listen the next time Jehovah’s Witnesses call at his door.