Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.

Colossians 4: 5

 

There is a very real irony in the way that a lot of Christians are perceived in this world and in the way that many people view the church, also. We are frequently seen as angry, critical, and graceless; yet, the characteristic of God that has set us apart from the world is His grace. We are the recipients of a gift that is completely foreign to human experience in that the way that we have lived and the thoughts that we have held beg for God’s anger, disappointment, and judgment; still, He embraces our hurt and heals our wounds, and the Lord takes us into His presence and wants us to stay there for eternity.

 

God wants us to take this same approach to others. We are His children, His emissaries, and the workers in His field of souls. There are times when direct honesty is the right way to communicate with others, and there is oppressive and destructive wrong in this world that needs to be confronted. Still, God wants us to separate our view of the people that we deal with from that of the institutions that need to be changed. He also would have us seek to be loving in all situations, even ones where we are speaking hard truth. At the end of the day Christ wants us to embrace and enfold others into our lives rather than separating and isolating them.

 

The wisdom that God wants us to employ in dealing with people who don’t share our faith comes from His Spirit through His word and should be the starting place for all of our relationships. Paul makes it very clear in the way that he says this, for his words literally mean that we should “buy up all of the opportunities” that we have to show the grace and the redemptive love of Christ to others. We are to hold nothing back. There is no spiritual rainy-day fund to be kept in reserve, and we are to be as committed as Christ, Himself, in seeking after relationships with people who need to know their Savior.