Colossians 4 (post 2 of 3)
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is coming to an end. These are the last few instructions before Paul’s final greetings. He has grounded them in the gospel message and given them practical instructions for Christian living. Now he offers up instructions for evangelizing to non-believers that includes BOTH walking AND talking. These two go together, and don’t let it pass by too quickly that the walking is before the talking. Our words lose their power when our walk doesn’t match up. It doesn’t mean we are perfect or anywhere close to it, but we do care about showing Christ and a life in Christ. At the same time, we aren’t called to just go out and live a good life, but not talk about it with others. The talking part is critical too!
Paul gives them [us] five pieces of advice:
Walk in Wisdom: John Piper said of wisdom… “Wisdom is knowing what to do for the glory of God when the rule book runs out. It’s knowing how to become all things to all men without compromising holiness and truth. It is creativity and tact and thoughtfulness. It’s having a feel for the moment, and having an eye for what people need and want”
Making the Best Use of Time: We should be walking in those open doors around us with a sense of urgency. We don’t want to miss opportunities that could be lost forever because we are too busy or too distracted or too self-focused.
Gracious Speech: Paul says our speech should ALWAYS be gracious. It should be kind, humble, accommodating. We can be gracious in our speech without compromising truth. In such a polarizing cultural environment, gracious speech would be a breath of fresh air.
Seasoned with Salt: Salt is used to make bland things taste better, as well as a preservative. How can we speak in a way that is full of life-giving truth and worthy of “tasting” what we are saying? Truth in a manner that is appealing, interesting, relevant, and as appetizing as possible. And it should have something about it that sticks. A message that is preserved in the recipient’s head and heart. Something they will think about again and desire to know more.
Personal: Paul says we ought to answer EASH person. In other words, it isn’t just a canned speech or a set formula for everyone. It is based on relationship and knowing something about the person and where they uniquely are in their life. It involves listening and responding accordingly.
God, help us to WALK AND TALK as redeemed, restored, grateful, fully loved and fully equipped children of God.
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