25 November 2015
Reading: Colossians 4; Psalm 124
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6 NLT)
I love the “practical section” at the end of most of Paul’s letters to the churches. This letter to the Christ-followers in Colosse is built around the revelation of the centrality of Christ. These words become the basis for Christian doctrine of Christ’s centrality, supremacy, and divinity, yet Paul wraps this letter up with a simple reminder that we’re called to be nice to other people. Talk nice. Don’t put people down. Don’t use sarcasm and cutting remarks. Engage people in conversation in such a way that you build them up and bring out the best in them.
Words are powerful. The words of parents are powerful with their kids. The words of husbands and wives are powerful with their spouses. The words of bosses are powerful with their employees.
Our words can shut people down, causing them to feel demeaned and attacked, and make them defensive.
Our words can open people up, draw them out, make them feel safe and respected and appreciated. Our words can bless or curse and we are privileged to use our words to bring out the best in others.
Whether dealing with Christian insiders or not-yet-Christian outsiders, the goal is to make the most of every opportunity to be a blessing.
The goal is to bring out the best in others, not put them down, not cut them out.
Father, Please help me to always talk nice to people and help me to always remember that it’s my privilege and my responsibility to bring out the best, to build up and not put down, to include and not exclude. I know that to maintain that attitude always, I must respect and appreciate others and not make superficial judgments about them. May it be so. In Jesus’ Name.