Have you ever thought about the type of people you like to be around? You know ... the ones to whom you are drawn and the ones who seem to collect the most friends. These are generally the people with the best attitude, aren't they? We are drawn to the ones who say kind things and see only the best in others, not the ones why make fun of or find fault in others. These are the kind of people who, when a mistake is made, try to lift up the ones dealing with problems rather than make fun of them because of them.

It's not always easy to have that attitude, is it? Some find it easier to see the bad in others and find fault with them. I like the following story that shows how some deal with human frailty in others.

Some neighbors of my grandparents gave them a pumpkin pie as a holiday gift. As lovely as the gesture was, it was clear from the first bite that the pie tasted bad. It was so inedible that my grandmother had to throw it away. Ever gracious and tactful, she still felt obliged to send the neighbors a note. It read, "Thank you very much for the pumpkin pie. Something like that doesn't last very long in our house." (from: Life In These United States)

Paul writes to the church in the city of Colossae:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6, NIV).

Another translation puts it this way;

Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone (NLT).

How will you respond?
I can tell you from my "life experiences" that many bad things are going to happen in your life or to those with whom you have contact. The question is, "How will you respond?" Will you complain or offer comfort? Will you chastise or encourage? The grandmother in the story knew how to be gracious in her speech and effective in dealing with others, even when they messed up! How about you?

The apostle James wrote these words nearly 2,000 years ago and they still are a guide for us today:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19 NIV).

We become what James describes through practice and by being guided by "The One" who looks only for the good in you and in those around you.

May God bless you with gracious speech, seasoned with the salt of love!