I wish I could do this better than I do now. I have noticed, though, the Spirit rearranging my words as I speak at times. I know. It sounds weird, or at least not normal.
God highlighted this verse for me many moons ago. I’m reminded of it from time to time. As I journey with Jesus, I get glimpses of speech with grace, or empowered speech —empowered by the Spirit.
I’ve noticed myself wondering, how do I respond to what a person just said, especially when I sense a need to bring truth to bear or invite them to rethink something. My usual pattern comes off very direct. While truthful, I find it not near as effective as taking a moment to listen to the One who is with me. A split-second reminder from the Spirit and reflection on His presence often leads to a better response to the person. Sometimes I have felt like an observer of the Spirit putting words on my tongue. I’ve literally been surprised at the result.
There’s no way that’s me. In fact, as I think up words other words appear and land on my tongue. Empowered speech, full of gift or grace or really the Spirit.
Have you ever felt like you were praying and talking with someone at the same time? Attending to God while speaking with another? I can’t describe it and what I just wrote captures it as best I can.
I’ve noticed it more than a few times. I’m always surprised with what the Spirit does, but I know it is empowered speech, with grace, as though seasoned with salt. I’ve seen it happen in conversations with my wife, my kids, friends, acquaintances, and interestingly, often when I am engaging others with the gospel.
I think Paul, following Jesus, lived a deeply surrendered life, even at the level of his speech. He knew a secret too. The Spirit in Him, if He reflected a bit in prayer, would form his words. As a result, Paul pens the words of Colossians 4:6 out of his experience in God’s presence at all times. I need a lot more practice. I’m glad Paul recommends speech with grace, speech empowered by God’s presence with me.