Colossians 4:2-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, 4 so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. 5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
Part one of this article covered verses verses 2-4 and some of five.
Col.4:5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time
I have already covered a note book to help you keep track of all your witnessing opportunities and prayer request. Acting wisely and making the most of your time is learning to recognize that some people are not willing to listen to the best defenses of Christianity. At some point during many witnessing opportunities it seems as if nothing you can say will even make that person more friendly toward Christianity, much less become a Christian. You don’t have to keep struggling with them. Matthew 7:6 says as much. “Matthew 7:6 (HCSB)
6 Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.” When you feel that they are making a real effort to turn everything you say into a club to use against you, you are free to graciously back out of the conversation. If you are so inclined you can also ask them that if you could convince them that Christianity is true, would they become a Christian, If they say no, then it isn’t a problem that reasoning with them can solve. It could be that they have a sin in their life that they are not willing to let go of, it could be an issue with a severe trauma that they have faced, or it could mean a misunderstanding about Church and God. If you can help them in the future with this issue you should, but if the conversation has gotten to that point both people might need to calm down a bit, so back out gracefully, pray for them, and try to find appropriate answers for whatever issues they have.
It is also a good idea to give them your e-mail address or Christian website URL in case they want to follow up on your conversation.
Salt isn’t just for seasoning food to make it taste better, before the advent of refrigeration salt was used as a preservative to keep meat from going bad. Your words to non-Christians should whenever possible have the same effect.
Without changing the Gospel itself make it taste as good as possible, in an effort to keep the person’s spiritual life from going bad.
While parts of the Gospel do sting, and we can not take all that sting away, we can minimize some of it’s sting. For example to just point blank telling a person that they are going to Hell, will sting a lot more than telling a person that all people have sinned, including yourself and deserve justice, but God loves us enough that he was willing to take the punishment for us, if we are willing to accept his free gift with gratitude. It is the same message with grace, wisdom, and seasoned in a way that the truth will be more palatable to non-Christians thrown in.