Scripture: verse 6
Let your conversation always be gracious and interesting, so that you will know how to respond to any particular individual.
Observation: I don’t know why we say the rules in Leviticus are strict. The most God ever said about our speech there was that we shouldn’t lie or curse each other. Here, everything we say has to be gracious and interesting and take into account the needs of the hearer.
I would say that I have interesting all taken care of, except it turns out not everyone is interested in detailed descriptions of our recent experiments with henna body art, or whatever it is that I want to talk about. I can’t exactly blame them, either.
Gracious is maybe a little easier, since it means being generous towards others and making allowances for their mistakes, and I’m usually sufficiently conscious of my own mistakes to not get too worked up about theirs. But sooner or later someone says something I disagree with, and then it turns out I’m not as good at gracious as I’d like to be either.
It has always been easier to follow the Law than to actually love people. I can avoid lying and cursing and even gossip and boasting (usually), but unless I’m genuinely paying attention to other people and taking an interest in what is important to them, I’m not doing God’s will. It takes thought, and patience, and God’s supernatural love to actually live the way He wants us to live.
Application: Rely on His love to help you love other people.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I’m not as good at loving people as you want me to be. But no one is. Thank you for covering over my faults, so that I can be confident in your love anyway. Help me to be interesting and gracious and responsive to others’ needs. Amen.