Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and
make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be gracious and effective
so that you will have the right answer for everyone.
In Colossians 4:5-6 Paul gives the church at Colossae directions for living.
Living wisely implies living according to God’s wisdom. Proverbs 14:1 says that “a wise woman builds her home but a foolish woman destroys hers with her own hands.” A foolish woman ignores some or all of God’s commands. We must always remember God’s warning, and know that if we choose to rationalize away the directions of God, we are asking for trouble.
Make the most of every opportunity. “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) It is so easy to live life selfishly. It is so easy to think the world revolves around us. It is so easy to think that others must fit our mold. God’s view of our lives is different. God wants us, in every opportunity, to do good to others.
Let your conversation be gracious. Grace is simply defined as not getting what we deserve! When we say that God is gracious, we mean that He doesn’t give us the punishment we deserve, but rather He is forgiving, loving, patient, and persevering with us; teaching and disciplining and encouraging us to do what is right.
Let your conversation be effective, so that you will have the right answer for everyone. Effective conversation may mean correction. In 2 Timothy 4:2 we are told how to correct. “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” Titus 3:2 says this, “Remind the people to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” The effective communicator has great patience and is very careful while instructing. The attitude of the effective communicator is peaceable, considerate, and humble.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but
only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.”
This verse cuts to the chase, taking away all the fluff of how a Christian should speak at all times, no matter what, in every circumstance! It is a lifetime struggle for anyone to learn to control their tongue, but that shouldn’t keep us from working diligently on this weakness.
Never talk badly. The trick is to think before we speak. Are the words we are speaking helpful to the person listening? Are the words coming out of our mouths going to build others up?
As Christians, we must learn to be very careful about our teasing. Teasing can be destructive!
To make this verse simple remember these two things—BENEFIT and BUILD UP. If we will think while we are speaking and if our words are not benefiting and building up we need to shut up. My Dad use to tell me, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Dad was right.
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds.”
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak,
and slow to become angry.”
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
Good news makes for good health.”
The words we speak are so important. We can build up or tear down. The gift of speech is an incredible tool that God has given us. As with all gifts from God, we have a responsibility. We choose how to use that which God has given us. We pray that all who read this will deeply consider their speech. At times we all say the right thing, but we also blow it. Let’s live wisely and consider how to encourage others, how to build them up.
Let’s work at making our speech gracious, peaceable, considerate, and humble.