“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:6
You can tell much about a person’s character in how they speak to those who they don’t have to impress. When I was 16, I and a friend were going through the drive-through at Dairy Queen; I was an impatient lad and when the fuzzy voice on the other end of the speaker kept getting our order mixed up, I answered her rudely. To my horror, at the window it was a popular girl at school who knew I was a Christian. She even remarked how rude I was, and I never forgot that lesson.
He is the hero in the story. We saw how Ruth’s ‘hap’ was to land on one of Boaz’ fields, and now he shows up on the scene. In Boaz’s case, this instance sets the tone for the remainder of the story. After he greeted his servants in a gracious and godly way, he noticed a maiden picking barley from the corners of the field. Boaz was smitten from the start and inquired to who she was and what she was doing.
The chief servant mentioned that it was Ruth the Moabitish woman, and how she had asked permission to work in the corner of the field.
What I would like to bring attention to is how he greeted his servants.
“And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.” Ruth 2:4
This is hugely important to note. When he greeted the servants, he did so in a godly and gracious way. This says so much about his character. Anybody can put on a show and act kind to those whom we are trying to impress. The real question is how to we treat those for whom we don’t have to impress?
This includes our family, employees and people we don’t know.
He had every opportunity to speak to his servants in a rough way, but he did not.
So many people will answer people roughly if they are not trying to get something out of them.
In the book of James, he cries out at the hypocrisy.
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:10-12
Friends, we need to just take time to be careful with how we speak to each other; Christians and non-Christians alike. It is so unfortunate that some of the rudest people we have met have been Christians, and this is not to be that way! There is absolutely no room in the Christian life for contempt and meanness.
May we all take heed to the words of Paul. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Eph. 4:29
Ryan King is pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Westville.