Colossians 4:3-4 - At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, "Wherever You Go, That's Where You Are." Meant to be humorous, of course, but those words hold a kernel of truth for you and me as we share our faith.
Naturally, every Christian wants to make a strong and positive witness to their faith. Many evangelism programs and training courses have been thoughtfully designed and written to help us do this. And while these are helpful, ultimately each person must determine how he or she can most effectively reach out to others.
In the passage above, the apostle Paul seeks prayers from the church at Colossae that God would open doors for the apostle to tell others about Jesus. This can be our prayer, too, along with asking God for the good sense to know when a door has been opened for us.
In Colossians 4:5-6, Paul offers Christians more insight in sharing their faith. "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."
Note that when St. Paul says your speech should be "seasoned with salt," he's telling us to make our words—the way we say them, our tone and intent—as pleasant and agreeable as possible to the individual we're speaking to. This doesn't mean compromising our faith; rather, it's about being mindful and sensitive to the attitude, predispositions, and feelings of another.
The purpose of our witness to our Lord is always to communicate the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ so that others may come to know Jesus as their Savior, too. In this, I like to remember to be as gracious as possible in order that nothing should stand in the way of my witness to Jesus.
As we share the Gospel message, we pray that our concern and empathy is evident and authentic to others in our conversations. And we pray that the Holy Spirit—who alone can bring people to repentance and transform hearts—will work through the Good News of God's mercy that we proclaim.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may the Holy Spirit open doors for us to witness—and our eyes to see they're open! In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, February 1979 issue, "Wherever You Go," by a staff writer
1. What's your favorite bumper sticker or slogan?
2. Could you ever see going to prison for your faith? Do you see that as a faith beyond what you have now?
3. What's something you could do to make the way you speak with others a little more generous, a little more agreeable?
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