“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let you conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6
How serious do you take your witness for Jesus? Do you consistently think about how others view your actions? As Christians, we generally try to avoid the things we consider major sins. We would never think about stealing something or murdering someone. Or would we? You know, “the hotel expects people will take the towels, etc.” or “they have so much at work, they won’t miss a little of this or that.” Or remember the teaching of Jesus, the harboring of hatred toward others is the same attitude in our hearts as murder! It is a bad reflection on Christians when those outside of Christ look at us and see no difference in the way we live.
I’ve been to Christian conventions for both youth and adults. At many of them, I have been told by hotel and restaurant personnel that they see no difference in the way they are treated compared to when any other group comes to town. In fact, some hotels refuse to book rooms for Christian conventions because the youth groups or adult groups are rude, demanding, and show little respect or restraint. Obviously, there are exceptions on both sides and some individuals and groups do quite well in representing Christ. However, it saddens me when I hear these reports of individuals not experiencing the best treatment of their career when dealing with Christians.
We would do well to daily practice restraint and wisdom in dealing with others. Our conversation should be gracious and “seasoned with salt”. If you’ve ever been on a no-salt diet, you quickly learn to find seasoning of some type to avoid tasteless food. I think that Paul is getting at a similar theme in these verses. We’re not to have tasteless conversations that would void our attempts to witness. As our speech is seasoned properly, we learn to answer everyone appropriately.
May God give us wisdom in our speech and actions so that we are productive and faithful servants of Jesus.