A good conversation makes life more enjoyable. There is nothing more satisfying for me than engaging with someone about their life or important issues facing our world. When it comes to talking about the gospel, I get even more energized because I know these occasions can have eternal significance.
This passage from Colossians is largely about how we interact with those who do not know Christ. Paul takes for granted that Christian people will interact with those around them, particularly people with little understanding of the gospel. Like a good pastor, Paul encourages these believers to make the most of these opportunities. As believers, we are to thoughtfully represent Christ to those who don’t know Him.
Do you think about your conversations with non-Christians very much? Do you reflect on the content or the quality of those interactions? You may be one of the only authentic followers of Jesus your non-believing friends or co-workers come into contact with on any given day.
Paul challenges us to be more intentional with how we represent Christ to the world. He says we should “act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time,” and our words should be “gracious, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:5-6).
Graciousness in speech refers to a generosity of spirit. Have you ever met someone who is not set on needing the last word or winning an argument? I’m guilty of seeking both. Gracious speech invites further conversation, with a genuine interest in the one to whom we speak. Our speech is also to be “salty.” If speech can be “colorful,” then I guess it can also be flavorful. Salty speech is relevant, engaging, and thoughtful. It takes skill, but we must learn to speak so that our words convey the truth of Christ in an intelligible way. This takes practice and discernment to learn “how to answer each person” (v. 6).
The gospel is the best news ever given to our weary world. As we encounter those who do not know Christ, let us share the greatest news the world has ever heard with generosity and creativity, always seeking to make the most of every opportunity.
written by Chris Comstock