Col 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
We sometimes get caught up with our church family and forget that we also have a responsibility before God to “them that are without.” It is our duty to live (walk) in a manner that shows wisdom toward those who may not yet (and may never) understand the Triune God the way we do. The word translated as “toward” carries the idea of “near to” with respect to the destination of the relationship (see Strong’s).
We are going to be “near to” people from all walks of life in our journey through this world. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines wisdom as “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.” We need to ask God for knowledge and understanding of the truth of Jesus Christ so that we can follow the best course of action for our lives before them that are without. However, we need not expect God to just pour this knowledge and understanding into us: we need to always study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that do not need to be ashamed (2Ti 2:15).
Preparing ourselves daily to walk (live) in a manner that glorifies Him is always time well used. We can live godly in this present world (Tit 2:12) without living haughtily. When we attempt to wear our faith with an attitude that says “I am holier than you,” we are not living wisely. If we fail to realize that we are who we are by the grace of God alone, then we have forgotten what manner of people we are (Jas 1:23-24).
Our speech (communication) should always be with grace. We are careful to do so with our brothers and sisters at church, but do we show the same care in our daily lives among those that “are without?” If we don’t, we should, and that communication should be prepared (seasoned) with prudence (salt). Just as we give forethought to our behavior in a setting of fellowship with our brethren, we should also give forethought to our behavior in all other circumstances.
Why is having our gracious communication seasoned important? Have you ever asked someone about a book or a movie you know they’ve seen and you are contemplating it for yourself? If you get a half-hearted “It was ok, I guess” as a response you are not very likely to pursue the matter. When asked about our weekend, is our response “Oh, I just went to church.”? We should be able to respond in a way that demonstrates being in the house of God and having fellowship with His people is impactful for us.
Our lives should be an example of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17). After all, these are the attributes of the kingdom we dwell in. If we prayerfully consider the word of God, the example of our Lord Jesus, and trust in the leadership of the Holy Spirit, then we should understand the necessity of being able to give an answer to every man. Being able to give an answer is a necessity according to Strong’s and not just a good idea.
May we live our lives with joy and confidence in God our Saviour before our brothers and sisters and those who see our lives as strange when compared to the world!