Col. 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Paul instructs his readers to “walk in wisdom to outsiders,” referring to our attitude toward unbelievers, among other things. Earlier in the book, in Col. 3:5-8, we read the following, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Here the reader, and by extension, we are told to put away all things that are ungodly because the wrath of God will be directed to those who continue in those practices.
Most Christians do their best to adhere to all the commandments, which is admirable and surely pleases God. As Paul himself did and encouraged us to do in 1 Cor. 11:1, Emulating Christ should be one of the primary driving forces in our daily lives. One of the reasons to do our best to follow the Savior’s example is given to us in 2 Cor. 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” The author of that verse tells us we are ambassadors, and with the title comes the responsibility of dutifully representing the kingdom of God. It is in our words and actions that God makes His appeal to seeking souls through us. Moreover, we are told the following in Matt. 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Having been tasked with the role of Ambassador, our gracious speech that is seasoned with salt and godly living free of the world’s trappings is like a light at the end of a dark tunnel for sinners. They are lost, afraid and confused, stumbling around in the darkness of sin they find themselves in. With no moral compass, they do not know which direction to travel to escape the devil’s clutches. Imagine the relief when they see the light and the accompanying promise of an escape from the bondage of sin. But that is not what all Christians do. You see, some claim to be righteous, attend church or other worship gatherings regularly, but then act like the world. Instead of being the light, they stumble around in the darkness with the hapless sinner, partaking in the same vices that keep the unbeliever a prisoner of the devil. And don’t even get me started on John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Some Christian hypocrites can recite this scripture but absolutely discard it in their daily lives. They hate with the same ease the world does and then claim to be better than the people they hate. Excuses like “They deserve it” or “I treat them the way they treat me” will not excuse them on the day of judgment. They are not ambassadors; they are an embarrassment to the Gospel with their shameful behavior. Moreover, they cannot surely expect anyone witnessing their outrageously anti-Christian behavior to be attracted to the Good News. We should remember that when we act like the world, we are, in fact, acting worse than it because we know better. Often the problem is our stubbornness or pride being put before the Word of God. We lose sight of our Creator and replace His love and place in our hearts with Satan and hatred. Then we effectively extinguish the light we should be and make a mockery of our supposed Christianity.
Instead of being gracious and seasoned with salt, our speech is rude, crude, and abusive drivel, not fit to be heard by anyone. Instead of our morally sound lives being a magnet for God’s Kingdom, we become quite the opposite, repelling the seeking soul. Instead of an ambassador, they see a worthless, so-called “Christian” that is no different, if not worse than them, and then they will see no benefit of becoming a child of God. We will never attract people to Christianity if we do not emulate Christ. We will never win a soul to God if we do not show that soul a better way. Please don’t leave them in the dark, but especially, don’t join them there.