Be wise…

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  ~ Colossians 4:2-6

I have been reading Colossians these last few days.  In the above verses, I was struck by Paul’s advice to “be wise in the way you act toward outsiders.”  Paul was especially concerned about the negative effect immature believers have on the lost. I personally believe that when outsiders look at our lives and see that salvation and grace have not changed us much, they conclude that its not worth the trouble of changing to essentially be the same.   We declare the peace that comes through Christ but yet we have no peace in our lives.  We talk about the horrific effects of infidelity to our spouses and yet we play with that fire as much as anyone else.  We talk about remembering the poor but we do very little to engage them. We want to forgive but given the chance, we would love to hammer that guy who wronged us!  We proclaim that there is power in prayer but we don’t pray!  Our lives simply don’t reflect that grace and salvation make a difference.  If we remain in vice and despair, without any indication that God’s grace makes a difference, who but the fool will believe the claims of the gospel?

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