Now let's keep these verses from Colossians in mind as we examine the next set of verses. These verses have been a focus and drive as I interact with others and a gut check if you will as I have had conversations. Since they have been such a deep focus I wanted to help establish a baseline with my class so they are thinking about how they are to interact with the unbelievers they come into contact with. The second set of verses I wanted to draw your attention to is:
My heart is heavy with writing this as far too often I see posts on Facebook where these verses are not being modeled by professing Christians. I see videos of professing Christians witnessing and engaging the lost without modeling these verses. I hear stories of how professing Christians interacted with unbelievers. All of these observances have been really disheartening, it does not seem like the path that the Lord would have professing Christians on. I think we need to take time to examine our hearts, examine our motives, examine them against God's Word in how we should act and if it is not in alignment with God's Word than we need to get on our face before God and repent.
We as the Lord's servants should be noticeably different than those who are unbelievers yet then why do we hear such awful stories of how professing Christians are representing our King? I feel this is because we have steered away from God's Word as our truth and our desire to be in God's Word has been stifled by things of the world. We have put idols in front of God's Word, we have put material things in front of God's Word and tend to have more time invested in these material things versus the study of God's Word and how we should treat others and what God has called us to do. While we do this we lose the focus of what God's Word says and so we treat others as we see in the world on TV shows or movies without kindness and gentleness. We want the last word and the first word and we are going to talk right over that unbeliever because we know it all and they don't! That is quite a shame and disappointing, it is not how God would have us represent Him. We should be respectful, mindful, discerning the conversation and recognizing that if it wasn't for God's grace and His granting of repentance to us, we would still be just like the person we are talking to, lost and heading for Hell. Yet far too often we don't think about those days before Christ. I think we need to remember they, the unbelievers like us are image bearers of God. So why do we feel the need to talk down on them? Ridicule and defile them because of their sin that they may be involved with? Were you without sin? Are you without sin now? The answer is no, so why do we forget that we were once there? Yet God used someone to extend kindness and patience to share God's Word with us and call us to repentance. So why wouldn't, why shouldn't you model God's Word and extend that same patience and kindness to all we interact with being gracious, seasoning our speech with salt. I like what I found in my John MacArthur Study Bible while examining these passages: "The Christian's speech should act not only as a blessing to others, but as a purifying influence within the decaying society of the world."
My prayer for each of you reading this article is that you would resemble as an image bearer of God and your interactions with other image bearers would be that is in alignment with God's Word rather than acting in direct violation or contrary to what it says. May you esteem the Holiness, Perfection and Authority that is God's Word and strive to live by it. Strive to be in God's Word everyday without fail. May you strive to learn more and memorize God's Word, study it, seeking to be obedient to what it says. My prayer is that you would seek to fulfill the great commission, witnessing to the lost, making disciples and baptizing them as you are commanded to do; yet doing so with gentleness, patience, kindness, taking the time to teach them. My prayer is that if you resembled what I described above which was contrary to God's Word you would repent and get right with God. My prayer is and yours should be that God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. May we be obedient and strive to bring glory to God in all that we do!