Posted by: bshelley | October 15, 2008

Fan or quench?

Today’s Verse: Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. NASB

The wording here, if taken out of the context, might appear a bit ominous or strange. If one were an “outsider” and they saw this, what might they think? “What are these guys hiding?” It is not like that at all though is it? Of course not. So what is Paul saying to these Christians? Just as today, we need to be mindful of other people’s feelings and readiness to hear the gospel truth. Timing and delivery are important. There is a great quote I heard some time back that says, “They do not care what you know until they know that you care.” Paul is not calling for us to be tricksters or in any way manipulative when dealing with people who are not believers. That is who he is talking about here. So what would be some wise ways to conduct ourselves towards these people? First, they are just as we were before Jesus. How would you have reacted to someone you barely knew walking up and telling you, for instance, that you were going to hell because you are a sinner. However true that might be, it certainly would have a low percentage of good responses. We are not in a numbers game. We are not competing to win a bicycle for the most attempts at shock conversion. I cannot imagine myself responding well to that kind of in your face evangelism. To use the farming analogy, there is a time to plow, a time to plant seed, a time to water, a time to weed and then comes a time to harvest. In some, the gestation period between hearing the truth and responding may seem rather short because of some circumstance or prior contact. For others, a planted thought concerning eternal destination may have to sit almost dormant for a prolonged period before they are ready. Regardless, the call here for the saved is to be wise and take advantage of every contact to move towards an opportunity to share the good news or encourage one who has heard but not responded. We do that in wisdom and love. We genuinely invest ourselves in them and show we care. If we have Christ’s Spirit within us, we should be driven to do so. Do you fan the flame or quench the fire?

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-colossians-4_5

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