Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:2, 5-6 NIV
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The scripture for today is same as that for yesterday as we continue to explore the advise of the Apostle Paul for any Christian who intends to have a rewarding Christian life. We had benefitted from the first three points raised in that scripture which were:
1. That a Christian wishing to live a rewarding Christian life must learn to pray ceaselessly – 1Thess. 5:17.
2. That a Christian wishing to live a rewarding Christian life must remain vigilant to avoid being a victim of the activities of the devil – 1Pet. 5:8.
3. That the Christian should show gratitude to God in all situations as that remains the key to opening other doors of blessings – 1Thess. 5:16-18.
Today we continue to mediate on the other advises raised by the Apostle Paul in the above scripture as follows:
1. They should be wise in the way they deal with outsiders. Outsiders here will mean those who do not belong to the Christian fraternity or those who are not genuine in their professed Christian beliefs. This remains a major area of life that Christians find very difficult to cope with. Christians need to be able to give to Caesar what is Caesars – Matt. 22:21. The desire of Christians to bring their Christian beliefs into non Christian environment makes them drop their guards. Until the non-Christian has assuredly become a Christian, he cannot be related with as one. The Christian needs to be very much aware of what non-Christians can do so as to avoid being a victim of their actions. This requires adequate information about the ways such people think. There will never be a separate world made for Christians where only Christian principles are in operation. Christians will always need to interact with non-Christians to succeed in life and it will be very naïve on the part of the Christian if he/she ignores the thinking of someone he/she plans to interact with. The Christian must learn to live in a non-Christian world in order to enjoy the earthly rewards of Christianity.
2. They should make the most of every opportunity. Opportunity is like an unusual chance to do something that is desirable. It presents unexpectedly but it helps the person to achieve a long desired goal. It will hardly present in a clear manner as the expected and will always be time bound, it will not be there for ever. Thus, Christians must do all that is necessary to prepare for opportunity and pray, to be able to identify the opportunity when it shows up. Waiting for the opportunity before commencing preparation on how to exploit it may lead to the loss of the opportunity as it may not be there for that long. The bigger the opportunity, the shorter the period of their availability, within which they must be exploited, else, the opportunity will be lost, and most opportunities hardly present a second chance. The Christian whilst praying for success with anything should believe that God will answer their prayers and so, should make adequate preparation for its manifestation so that they can maximise the chance when it comes. Infact, that will be the physical proof of faith in God by the Christian.
3. They should let their conversation be full of grace seasoned with salt. Paul advises the Christian that intends to live a rewarding life to mind the type of words that proceed from their mouth. He wants such words to be
a. Full of Grace. A mouth that will speak gracefully will have a heart that intends peace and comfort for those hearing. A graceful person will have a pleasing way of speaking and will carefully select words to be used, trying to avoid the use of hurting words as much as possible. One who speaks carelessly, or without the intention of avoiding the use of hurting words as much as possible, cannot expect peace, which is a pre-requisite for progress. A person of grace will be careful in the use of hurting words during communication.
b. Seasoned with salt. Where hurtful words have to be used, it is important that some words to reduce the pain of such hurting words are sprinkled, just as similar words, that will further enhance the act goodness of the person, should be used when necessary to encourage such a person. Salt not only brings out the sweetness of a meal but also can be used as a preservative. The symbolic use of salt in this instance is Apostle Paul’s way of letting the Christian know the importance of the use of the right words at all times. He believes the Christian stands to gain also from such personal cautions.
The Christian life style remains the best if its rules are strictly followed as it provides blessings and comfort without sorrow – Prov. 10:22. One does not need any addition to the name of Jesus Christ, as it should remain the only foundation of the new Christian life. Every association has its rules and regulations, and the Christian community is not exempted. Peace and comfort in this world and in the world to come remains very much the portion of the person that decides to live the Christian life style according to these rules and regulations. You are also entitled to it if you as all you need do is to plead with God for ability to observe all these guidelines. May God provide such help, to live according to these guidelines in Jesus name.