“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6
On the topic of letters to the editor (which I wrote about last night), I have a letter of my own that exposes truth as God has led me to see a situation in my campaign differently than either opposing side – one that exposes the true heart of what has been happening in our community and how wrongfully the people have been treated as they have been misled into untruths regarding the most heated political contest in our area – our school levy.
As I came upon the verses above I knew they were ones I needed to write on a note card, memorize, and keep always before me these last 29 days until the election. I do not think I am alone in this matter of walking in wisdom and truth since there are a lot of heated races which are only getting hotter as election day is approaching. As Christians we need to be careful not to let our speech be brash or hard, yet it does need to redeem the time of those on the outside shining the light of truth in the darkened areas of our world. We have no idea what the future holds for any person whom we talk to and if one day the light we allowed to shine through us will be the grace that draws them finally to their knees before the Lord. Those in agreement and those in opposition are all brought into our company, by God, for a reason.
We each walk in this world as witnesses of our faith. Living our faith as God commands us to live it out is no small order to follow. Each person we encounter, each situation we find ourselves in, and each conversation we are brought into give us the ability to walk in wisdom towards those who are on the outside. It would be very unwise of us to not be prepared by praying ahead of time for those encounters, to not be equipped with the word of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, and to not be on our guard for when, not if, those instances arise.
I know I am talking to myself more than anyone else here. I need to remember these things on a moment by moment basis as of late and the arguments against me seem to be getting thicker and stickier than they've ever been in the past. And even in keeping my feet firmly planted in the Lord, that doesn't mean that worldly success will follow me as a result. I also have to keep in the back of my mind that what God calls success is a far cry from what mankind calls success. Bringing people to His truth may cost me an incredible price, but the price here on earth for standing up and dispensing God's truth will bring a reward if I look beyond what this world tells me is my fate.
Jesus pointed to the ultimate success that we will achieve when we stand up against opposition and live for His truth over all the odds – great heavenly rewards.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven...” Matthew 5:10-12
Thinking toward heaven allows our speech and our lives to be more gracious as we look at those on the outside. When we realize these people do not have access to all the understanding of the truth in this world like we do in Jesus and that they are fighting day by day to make sense of their own existence to keep some form of sanity, we are then able to speak to them in love and answer each one with a word that will move each one of them one more step closer to our Lord.