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I would say that Paul was telling the Colossian Christians that, in the same way that salt seasons food and makes it more palatable, those Christians, in their dealings with those outside the congregation (and especially when discussing their Christian faith in an effort to gain converts -- as indicated to me by the words about answering them), should exhibit grace, wisdom, discretion, and sensitivity to their hearers' situations. I view this instruction by Paul to be similar to Peter's advice to the Christians to whom he was writing in 1 Peter 3:15 ("Always be prepared to make a defense [or "give an account"] to any one who calls you to account [or "asks you the reason"] for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.").
Salt in the time that Christ was on the earth had a monetary value and Roman soldiers were often paid with salt. Salt also added flavor to foods and was also used as a preservative. In the Old Testament salting soil made the soil barren. We can always relate to things that the bible said out of context according to what we believe that he is saying to us now which is not incorrect but we must also relate to to things according to how it related to people then and based upon how they would understand it. Proverbs 11:30; The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Since salt has monetary value wisdom adds value to a conversation. To season something is to give it flavor and we should not limit ourselves to speak only about the gospel. I have had many meaningful conversations with people from different nations and religions just relating to them based upon their culture. They actually marveled at how much I knew about their culture and that left them open to hear about Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:14; But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. To speak to unbelievers in spiritual terms and biblical concepts is like speaking to them in a foreign language. I lived in the ghettos of Brooklyn, New York so "sounding" religious is pointless unless I can present the gospel to people in street terms the way that they would normally speak. I need to be able to approach people so that they can let their guard down. Instead of wearing a suit I can approach people with jeans and sneakers on, a big tee-shirt and a baseball cap and my conversation will definitely have flavor!
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