One Day Closer
Read Colossians 4:5 (ESV)
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
What are some ways believers “waste time” with the way they live their lives?
“Time flies” and “actions speak louder than words” are two life principles that the secular worldview and the Christian worldview can usually agree upon. Ask any parent and they will tell you their kids are growing up too fast. Many on their deathbeds lament the way they spent their time. They grieve that they spent so much time on things that didn’t matter and neglected the things that matter most.
The world also understands that the words someone says are useless if their actions do not align with what they say. The world says, “walk the talk” and the Word agrees. If we claim to be followers of Christ but our actions are not consistent with that claim, the world takes note and our witness for Christ is tarnished. That is why John said: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). In other words, we need to love in action. Love is a verb!
In today’s verse, Paul urged the Colossians to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders” and “make the best use of the time.” In the verse prior to this one, he asked the Colossians to pray for open doors for him to continue to declare the Gospel clearly so it would be easily understood (Colossians 4:3-4). But in today’s verse he stressed the importance of our actions and our lifestyle. We have to preach the Word with our mouths, but we have to back it up with the way we live our lives. The way that we walk out our faith matters!
The reality is every day is one day closer to the coming of the Lord. But we don’t know when that day will be. Because of this, we should have a sense of urgency toward “outsiders” or non-believers. Jesus gave us a job to do when He left. He said “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). When the Master returns, we want to be found faithfully completing the work that He commanded us to do (Mark 13:32-36). We should be preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. But it will be hard to get anyone to listen to us if our lives are not consistent with our words.
The NIV translates today’s verse this way: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Every encounter that we have with someone outside the family of God is an opportunity to show them who Jesus is and to tell them what He has done. Therefore, we should approach every encounter with a non-believer wisely.
Friends, every day is one day closer to Jesus’ return. We shouldn’t be wasting time! Our master gave us a job to do! Let’s be diligent in making disciples and wise in our walk so that nothing hinders the spread of the Gospel or tarnishes our testimony.
Lord, I want to labor faithfully for You. Help me to walk wisely so that my actions match my words and my lifestyle is consistent with the Gospel. I don’t want my actions to jeopardize my testimony. Amen.