Sometimes we get uncomfortable around unbelievers. They tend to be different and maybe even antagonistic toward our beliefs. If we don’t regulary spend time with them, we wonder what to expect.
But do we worry too much? Do we make it more awkward than necessary?
Paul the apostle provides some insightful information: “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:5–6).
Two things stand out: (1) The believers walk (or way of life), and (2) The believers talk.
The Believers Walk
In the previous two verses, Paul requests prayer from prison that God would provide an opportunity for him to speak about Christ. Though in chains, he desparately wanted to make the word of God abundantly known.
But he doesn’t stop there. He also encourages the Colossian church to “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” (v. 5).
The phrase “those who are outside” refers to non-Christians, while “redeeming the time” has the idea of making the most of every opportunity.
Simply put, Tip 1: As we go about our daily living, we must act wisely in order to take advantage of every opportunity.
This means making an effort to be alert to the Holy Spirit’s effort. If we casually go about our lives, divine appointments may pass us by.
The Believers Talk
Paul also brings up the area of speech: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (v. 6).
Just how should we speak? Earlier in the chapter, Paul specifically uses the word “speak” to refer to talking about the gospel, but he could also be using it to refer to any type of speech.
The metaphor “seasoned with salt” (cf. Matt. 5:13; Mark 9:50) probably refers here to “winsome or witty” speech designed to answer questions and comments coming their way from unbelievers.
Simply put, Tip 2: Make sure your speech is endearing rather than alienating.
Speak kindly even when others don’t deserve it. Think about how your relationships with others would change if you answered criticism in a gentle manner.
Whether online or in day to day conversation, we’re presented with opportunities to proclaim Christ. Characterize your life with wisdom and grace.