Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5)
Christians Walking In Wisdom
The world is a dark place spiritually. Jesus taught the majority of people in the world are unrighteous, with only a few that will be saved. This speaks to the appealing nature of sin and the desire for the pleasures of life. Obedience to the will of God has always been the least desirable trait in the heart of humanity. Satan easily lures the heart to look at life as a time of fun and frolic with no eternal consequence. Noah lived in a world where only eight people were righteous. Abraham’s world was filled with the pagan gods of polytheism, and yet he remained righteous. Moses chose to reject the religion of ancient Egypt to serve the one true God. The early Christians faced persecution from the government, religion, and a harsh society to worship the gods of the Romans, including Caesar as a god.
Colossae was a small town in Asia Minor, not far from Ephesus. Like many Roman towns, Colossae was a mixture of nationalities and pagan religions. A faithful church had begun there at some time, and Paul wrote to the brethren as they faced those who challenged their faith in Christ. Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote his letter to Colossae, but the spirit of the letter was to encourage the saints to walk as lights of Christ in a dark world. The gospel was the means of salvation for Jews and Greek. Colossae was where the gospel had taken root, with a local congregation of saints showing the light of Christ to a city filled with darkness. Among the apostle’s exhortations, Paul reminds the Christians to live with wisdom among their Colossae neighbors, using every opportunity to share the good news of Christ with them. A pattern of evangelism is given that the word of salvation could be spread throughout Colossae.
The example of a Christian’s life carries a powerful testimony to the gospel of Christ. There is a need to preach the word and to be constant in establishing the authority of Christ as the framework for the one true church. The example of faithful Christians carries great weight in a community, whether the gospel of Christ has changed their lives or not. Paul’s exhortation is a simple reminder to the saints to live wisely with their neighbors to show how Christ has changed their lives. Insincerity is always a sign of doubt when a man professes allegiance to Christ and lives like the world. People of the world will judge a local church by the veracity of its members. The daily walk of the Colossian Christians carried greater weight in many cases than a sermon. Paul reminds the Christians of the power of their influence. Walking wisely among those outside the church is one of the greatest evangelistic conversion tools.
A higher value is placed on day-to-day living than the lengthy sermons of the preacher. Paul exhorts the Christians to remember the powerful influence they have on their neighbors in the manner of their lives. The example of a Christian’s life carries great weight in converting the lost. It is very difficult for a worldly saint to convince an unsaintly person in the world to follow Christ when they refuse to follow Him themselves. Walking with wisdom to those in the world is seeking opportunities to be a light for Christ. Paul did not only want the saints to consider how they walked before those in the world but to seek opportunities to share the gospel.
Looking for opportunities in a dark world is letting the light of Christ shine before others. Evangelism is where saints share their love for God with others. Walking with wisdom in the world and seeking opportunities is connecting with the person at the grocery store, the auto store, the neighbor, the friend, and the coworker. Unless a person lives a hermit life, opportunities abound. Paul wanted the saints to walk in such a way they could open a discussion with someone about the saving grace of God. This task is easier for Christians when they walk in God’s wisdom. Walk in wisdom. Look for open doors. Knock on some doors spiritually. Seek opportunity. Be the light of Christ in a dark world, a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.