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 ESV)
There are three reminders on how we should behave at all times.
1. Walk in wisdom. We are to be experts on God’s word and also be informed about what’s happening around us. Wisdom is having the ability to properly apply our knowledge to either produce a favorable outcome or prevent a bad occurrence. What good is knowledge if we don’t make any use of it?
2. Make the best use of time. We know that the next hour or even tomorrow is guaranteed to us. Only God knows when it is time for us to depart this earth and go home to him. How we choose to spend our time really matters. Do we have the right balance of priorities such as faith and relationships, and do we moderate certain activities that keep us from maintaining them?
3. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt. This is a big one. Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing and reading bitterness about politics, injustice, and conspiracies. I know many good-intentioned Christians who have gotten sucked into this vacuum of cynicism because they fear that they will lose their rights and their livelihoods. But if we remember the Book of Job, we know that the proper response to adversity is to remain faithful to God. If he chooses to take things away through a tyrant, then he will. If God decides to bless us with more, then it will happen. As long as we remain in him, then we have everything! There is no reason for us to argue, name-call, or gossip so we can feel better about ourselves and our circumstances. Instead, we need to pray and speak words of encouragement, uplifting the moods of those who are grieving or have little hope. What we say and write matters to God, and we will have to give him an account for every hurtful and careless word that comes out of us:
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12).
We cannot undo our past failures, but we can change our conduct today and be better role models for tomorrow. Please do not call yourself a Christian if you continue to carry a bitter attitude and contribute more to the negativity instead of taking action and being part of a solution. It’s way too easy to express an opinion but not be held accountable to the consequences in a country where free speech is protected. Just like Paul said, all things may be lawful, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). So let is all wise up and grow up…together. God does not want his children to be the cause of divisiveness. He wants them to be known by their love.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).