Isaiah 39-40 Colossians 4
“Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.” (Colossians 4:5-6 NCV)
Paul gave the Colossians an important principle to live by. He told them to be wise in the way they deal with non-believers. He recognized that they didn’t get too many chances to share the love of Christ with others, so they needed to make sure that they made the most of every opportunity they had. He continued by pointing out that they needed to be kind and pleasant to others. It should be such a habit that even when a natural reaction might be to fight back when someone attacks us, our response should be calm and measured. While he didn’t quote the proverb, he could have told them that a soft answer turns away wrath.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and when you’re sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people who’ve never heard of Him, you want to make sure that you show them God’s love. That’s why I get so upset when I see the people who have posters that list all the reasons people are going to hell. Then, when you hear them preach, there isn’t a touch of God’s love there. Instead of being kind and pleasant, these street condemners take a perverse joy in knowing that other people are going to hell. People need to hear about God’s love. They need to hear that Jesus died to bring forgiveness for all those sins and that He did that because of God’s love. They need to know that God can change us and redeem us no matter what we may have done or been like in the past. When our canned approach is to scare, shame, and bully people into saying the “right words” in a prayer, we’ll never be able to listen to people and hear their needs so that we can answer them in the way that we should to let them know how much God loves them. Lists of sins that will cause people to go to hell is the old legalism that was nailed to the cross. God’s love and grace is the good news we have to share with people who are separated from God.
Lord, there are so many people who don’t know how much You love them. Help me to make the most of my meetings with them. Let my words and my actions show Your love and grace to them.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.