There’s a saying I often think of when I’m cooking, “sugar and spice and everything nice.” It speaks of the delicate balance that goes into to seasoning a good meal. Too little spice makes for bland and boring; too much spice could be a recipe for disaster! Good cooks know how to blend sweet and spicy to season their dishes to perfection. So let’s apply this to our day to day living—relationships are the spice of life, but if we’re not careful they can really give us heartburn. A good cook knows what ingredients to use to save any meal. Likewise, we can rescue any troubled relationship we have by adding a few “ingredients” from the Word of God to tone down too much spice or add some much needed flavor.
There’s nothing better than a great relationship, and there’s nothing worse than a bad one, so it’s wise to develop some strategies on how to effectively season or manage the relationships in our lives.
Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” That sounds like good cooking to me! Words are a perfect place to start in any relationship. What kind of words do you speak? Are they words that build up and encourage? Are they words of faith? Are they words that make people glad they heard them? What relationship in your life is trouble? What kind of words do you speak to that person? What do you say to others about that relationship? Perhaps if you change your words you can change the flavor of that relationship. Try using more sweet words to make that relationship better tasting.
So much of what we say is negative, hurtful, and mean. Make a decision to speak life; let your words be seasonedwith love, mercy, and grace. Speak in such a way that those hearing your words say, “that was simply delicious!” Remember, Matthew 12:32 tells us that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart, so whatever your heart is full of will show up in your words. Make sure your heart is full of the word of God so that the words that come from your lips will be pure, clean, and life giving.
That brings us to another ingredient that no relationship should do without: pure, unadulterated kindness. Not only should you speak kind words, you should be kind. Kind words mean nothing if you’re mean! So much of what we do is selfish, hurtful, and mean. A good cook never uses anything rotten or rancid. Don’t be mean. Meanness is rottenness that will only ruin your relationships. How do you get rid of meanness? It’s simple: treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to anyone else. Ask yourself would I want to be treated this way? If the answer is no, then you know you need to apologize. Always think about how your actions would make you feel if you were on the receiving end. A little bit of kindness goes a long way, so don’t forget to add it to your relationships.
Finally, every great cook has a secret recipe. Here’s my secret recipe for whipping up mouth-watering relationships. You can find it in James 1:19: “…let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” In other words, turn on your ears, turn down your mouth, and turn off the steam. That’s how you cook a great relationship every time. Bon Appétit!
From my heart to yours,