Colossians 4 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Walk in wisdom, concerning outsiders, making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.” Col 4: 5-6
I love to fish, although I haven’t done it in years. One summer, my brother and I fished every day, despite the heat waves & thunderstorms. I even got my picture in the paper when a news reporter noticed my devotion to the art of angling.
My favorite place to fish was my uncle Alpha’s lake. (They named him “Alpha” because he was the first child) One day I was sitting on the edge of the dock, cooling my feet in the water, when my brother yelled, “Pick up your feet!” I looked down, just in time to spy a huge loggerhead turtle swimming up to bite off my big toe!! That’s when I realized: You have to be alert when you’re fishing, because some things may be fishing for you!
This concept of alertness transfers to evangelism. After all, evangelism is fishing for men. Paul says we should “walk in wisdom, concerning outsiders”. In addition to being knowledgeable of the gospel, we should be wise with it.
We are called to be gracious to the unbeliever. Paul directs us to intentionally season our conversations with salt. What does he mean? As another Bible translation put it: “…always be gracious and interesting, so that you will know how to respond to any particular individual.” There is a reason why bartenders set out bowls of pretzels: salt makes people thirsty. If you give away pretzels, you sell more beer!
We “salt” our conversation so people will want to hear more about Yeshua. How does that play-out, practically?
For starters: listen, listen, listen! We live in an age of information overload, and people seldom get to tell their stories. Next, turn down the preaching and turn up the caring. Show genuine concern for people. People don’t care what you know, till they know that you care. Try communicating on a pedestrian level. That means dropping the “Christian-ese”. (church language) Otherwise, we may appear to be so “Heavenly-minded” that they are no “Earthly good”.
Avoid taking a secular approach, which abandons the gospel for the sake of cultural “relevance”. Share the whole gospel, even the aspects that seem uncomfortable. In trying to erase the differences between the Messianic community and the world, many have become so Worldly-minded, that they’re no Heavenly good. There is no such thing as a “decision for Yeshua” that excludes committing to a Bible-centered life.
“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord!” will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father.” Matthew 7:21
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Friday, October 18, 2013