Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. [Colossians 4:5-6]
Speaking with “outsiders” about matters of faith can be a frustrating thing; especially when they don’t seem to get it. We talk about what we believe and then get attacked. One then gets defensive and fiery attacks continue. And before you know it, it’s a volley of barbs being thrown back and forth; causing more damage. This may continue indefinitely or you just give up and commend the outsider to be an outsider forever.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul tells the Church to “Walk in wisdom towards outsiders…” meaning, seek the wisdom of God when you are speaking to and living among outsiders. The temptation is to use cleverly worded arguments but that does not work if they are not Spirit lead; if they are not “salted”. When we walk in our own wisdom we get caught up in our own agenda and timing. We want the outsider to come around to our way of thinking and right now; not realizing that our way of thinking may not be God’s way of thinking. And when our agenda does not happen as we want and when, we get frustrated, and therefore what really get’s accomplished?
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
because the time is not yours but God’s. We don’t see the whole picture. We don’t understand God’s plan. It may not be the outsider that God is after but maybe you. Maybe it is not about making the outsider an insider but rather drawing you closer to God in order to help you see what your role is with outsiders. All very confusing and maybe a little time consuming, but remember, the time is not your’s but rather God’s. So make good use of what God gives you and trust Him.
And Let your speech always be gracious
because you know the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than can with vinegar.” Getting defensive and argumentative with people about matters of faith is not going to win people over; but rather push them away. When things are getting heated with an outsider, stop and think what you are doing.
Is your speech gracious?
Is it giving God glory?
Are you being selfish?
This is convicting for me when I think about past encounters with outsiders. So get out the honey and put away the vinegar.
So therefore let your speech be seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
knowing the answering of each person is something that comes from God. I am not smart enough to deal with outsiders but thankfully God is, so why not appeal to God in these matters? Why not let God, through the Holy Spirit, season your words? For the wisdom of God is greater and higher than anything man can come up with. That’s the side I want to be on.
So seek God’s wisdom;
continue in scripture;
let your light so shine,
trust in God’s timing.
May God be glorified as you speak to and live among outsiders.
Holy Father, please pass the salt so that my words may be seasoned with wisdom and power that can only come from you; that the outsider may come to give you praise and glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
The Pastor -|—