Recently I have been apart of a Bible Study Series centered on Colossians. Tuesday evening marked the final day of the series where we wrapped it up by studying chapter 4. Two specific verses really resonated deep within me as they relate to very practical witnessing advice from Paul. Despite having heard these verses before in the past, I have never really appreciated their depth and practical application in the context of witnessing towards others in my own life. In case you haven’t already predicted to which verses I am referring to, they are from Colossians 4:5-6 which I have posted below:
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
I feel that verse 5 effectively illustrates the fact that our actions as Christians actually do the majority of witnessing. Therefore, it is essential that through prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit we strive for congruence between what we say and what we do (authenticity). In addition, it is our responsibility as Christians to not only pray for ministry opportunities, but it is also integral that we seize them. We cannot afford to let invaluable opportunities to slip away when time truly is of the essence. One example of sharing your faith verbally may be done through gently expressing your Biblical Worldview on a prevalent social injustice towards nonbelievers. This is a great way for opening the door of opportunity to a potential discussion about your faith.
Witnessing to others requires an extremely delicate balance to be upheld at all times, which can only be made possible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In verse 6, Paul tells us that our conversation should “…always be full of grace…” meaning that we should deliver a level of undeserved kindness to the unbeliever. I really like how in this verse Paul decides to utilize salt as an illustration for how Christians should season their conversation towards unbelievers. I think that it is safe to equate the meaning of salt to having substance in our conversation towards nonbelievers. Metaphorically, when we use too little salt our message may be disregarded (Mathew 5:13), while using too much salt may cause some unbelievers to withdraw. Therefore, a balance should be constantly maintained.
Christians should rely on prayer so that through the Spirit we will have the right words to say. Importantly, we need to keep our dialogue with nonbelievers focused more on conversation and less on confrontation. Further, being many parts but of the one Body (1 Corinthians 12:20) means that as many parts we all have different roles to play towards witnessing, such as: planting the seed; watering the seed; and/or harvesting the seed. We also need to be very cautious that we never become fixated on conversion numbers, remembering that it is ultimately always about glorifying God.
I pray that this piece of practical witnessing advice is able to positively impact Christians(myself included) to fearlessly take advantage of any and all opportunities to witness towards nonbelievers. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.