“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6, NIV)
Are you feeling salty? My granddaughter asked me that question the other day when I became verbally frustrated at my inability to convey my thoughts. What? Not sure what she meant, I consulted the Urban Dictionary and discovered it is to be upset over some little thing. That explained it! I was salty!
After that incident, I considered the ways I can use the metaphor of salt in my writing. How can I season my words and conversations? Does my writing uplift and encourage others? Sometimes, without realizing it, my words have cut deep into a person despite my good intentions. It is only after that I regretted what I said and thought about how I could have said it differently.
How can I become cognizant of my speech? Are my words snarky, or are they empowering? How can I practically apply the metaphor of salt to my writing? I believe all my communications should be seasoned with salt. Therefore, I discovered five ways to improve my writing and words using salt.
1. Salt Enhances
What do we do to enhance the taste of our food? Salt! We use salt every day to improve the flavor of the foods we love to eat. I know too much is bad for me, but I sprinkle a little of it on my favorite delectables.
For example, in the summer, after the watermelon harvest comes in, I find the biggest, most hollow-thumped fruit from roadside fruit-stands to bring home to my ravenous, melon-anticipating family. We enjoy large half-moon slices sprinkled with a little salt.
Do you see the metaphor here? Do our words add flavor to our writing? Do they bring out the sweetness?
2. Salt Preserves
One of the ways salt has been used since the beginning of recorded history is as a preservative. Curing meat with salt is still used in many cultures as a necessity, while chefs utilize the process to cure specialty items like steaks. Meat treated this way will last 3–4 months. I also remember canning vegetables like tomatoes, okra, and pickles with my mother. How is this related to preserving our words?
In today’s society, morals and truth are decaying all around us. Demeaning and hurtful comments are pervasive on the Internet. Outright lies are spoken or written with abandon. How can we preserve and persevere with integrity and permanence — a covenant of salt? We must write or speak about our mores without fear. Preserving our words with kindness and love for others to see.
3. Salt Melts Ice
Have you met people who seem cold to you? Have you had comments that felt like icicles in your heart? I have many times; however, I learned that words seasoned with salt could melt the iciest depths of a soul. For example, recently, someone left me a negative comment, and they were trying to bate me into an unhealthy conversation.
However, I seasoned my words with warmth and tenderness. Their response was full of humility and gratitude. If I replied with anger, I would have been met with anger.
Instead, I melted their heart with glowing words of respect for their opinion. Who knows, my words may have sparked a change in their life. Sometimes, it only takes one word seasoned with salt.
4. Salt Prevents Infection
Humans have used preparations from salt to prevent infections and cleanse wounds from time immemorial. Even though salt stings, it may save an injured person’s life. Today, salt solutions are used to clear sinuses, soothe a sore throat, or rinse a wound.
Just as words may injure a person through gossip and rumor, we can choose not to participate in spreading infectious words or scandalous rumors. We have to be brave and select words that halt the inaccuracy of what say or write. Our words, like salt, can help prevent festering words from disseminating and causing more pain.
5. Salt Ruins
I remember the time when my daughter was learning how to bake cookies. She accidentally substituted salt for the sugar. The cookies looked pleasing, and our mouths watered at the smell and in anticipation of the crunchy sweetness. I bet you are chuckling at the image of our faces as we ran for the waste can to spit out the salty cookies.
I believe it is beneficial if we pay attention to the recipe of words we use in conveying our ideas. We want to be careful to choose words that speak to the situation, person, or context of what we are saying. We may be called upon to speak to the truth, and in doing so, our words should be seasoned with salt.
The metaphor of salt is a useful literary device when writing or speaking our words. I found five ways to become aware of our words and how to convey them by enhancing the flavor, preserving the truth, melting icy hearts, preventing infectious words from spreading, and speaking truth with awareness.
Let me send you my 4-Step Action Plan to create anything in your life, even a vision! I used the plan to create the Vision Statement for my life, it works!
Debbie Walker is a great-grandmother, blogger, and writer with a BA in Psychology. Her vision is to help others live the life they aspire to live…one word at a time. Stay in touch with her at email@example.com