“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,”
I don’t know about you, but I love cooking and serving my wife dinner. I like mixing all the right seasoning to make it as tasteful and good as possible. Without seasoning and without wisdom, I can make a mess of the preparation if I use too much salt and not enough pepper, or too much of everything. I can serve it with good intentions, but it’s just not palatable.
These verses answer the question how all of us as believers are supposed to relate to the unbelievers in our lives.
Paul has in view accomplishing as much spiritual good as we can in these relationships. That’s what he means in verse 5 when he says to “make the most of the time.” Literally it says, “Buy up the opportunity.”
Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . ”
In other words, how we view our lives can be a series of missed opportunities; never to be repeated opportunities for buying up spiritual blessings.
Every hour of our lives brings a situation that can be bought up for eternity or missed…..
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity”….or “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders.”
Wisdom is knowing how to become all things to all men without compromising holiness and truth. It is being creative and tactful and thoughtful, thinking how you would like to be talked to. . It’s having a feel for the moment, and having an eye for what people need and want. These are a few examples of how we can be wise in our behavior.
Let your conversation (speech) be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.
In other words, what we say about Christ and about the Christian life should be made as appetizing as possible. When food is not salted, (to some degree) its taste is bland. People don’t want to eat it. It’s unappetizing. Our speech is not supposed to be like that.
“so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”
Bottom line, each person is different and each situation is different. The gospel is the same, and JesusvChrist is the same, but there are countless ways to serve the meal.
We need wisdom how to SERVE and wisdom how to SEASON it.
Our behaviour towards non-Christians can make the difference between an unbeliever seeing something different than everything else in their environments and seeing nothing different than what they already know and do in the world.
The Scripture makes it clear that for us as believers to make the best kind of influence on their lives by the way we live our lives openly before them.
I got to thinking how non believers see me in my daily work routines, how do they see me at the grocery store, in the parking lots, behind the wheel of my truck. If they were to show up at church, would they be able to recognize me, would the life I live in everyday life resemble what they may see of me at church? In a ministry?
The passage exhorts us to speak pleasantly to them, but never sentimentally, and learn to give a proper answer to every questioner.
I don’t know about you but there are times of opportunity talking with unbelievers that I can get caught up in emotions. With the same zeal some have said they see in me, I can go just the opposite and remain quiet when I should be reflecting Christ within me. I’ve learned that when I do that, get caught up in emotions, it can shade my witness to others. I can justify it by saying to myself that it’s okay to just be quiet, and sometimes it is okay. But, when my quietness is motivated by self, then it clouds the full potential of what God desires to work through me.
As a servant of God, I need God’s wisdom on how to be more mindful of how I SERVE and how I SEASON my opportunities to draw unbelievers to Christ. This is something we all can do, asking God for opportunities and wisdom to serve His Gospel to a hungry and thirsty world.