I guess I have too much resolve this year that it takes two posts. Today I want to look at verses 5 and 6 of Colossians chapter 4. Verse 5 starts with Paul cautioning the believers to be wise in the way that you act toward outsiders. In our case outsiders means the nationals that we come into contact each and every day. I think this can mean two things. First, it is talking about what kind of example am I setting in the way that I live and interact with the people here. Am I living a life of integrity? It also reminds me to use my brain when I interact with others. We live in a culture here in Central Asia where bribes are common and being an a foreigner can make you a target for scams. I need to be able to reach out to others in the name of Jesus but also be be aware of the people I am dealing with. Thankfully most of the people we have met here have been wonderful but we still need to be wise in the way we interact with them.
The next verse talks about my conversation being seasoned with salt and knowing how to answer everyone. Again this has a double meaning for me. First, is my conversation full of grace? Do I choose to talk about topics that could lead to spiritual things? Does my speech reflect the one who is inside of me? The second meaning for me is in actually being able to communicate with the people here. I am in the middle of language learning and can carry on a basic conversation but not a very deep one. My prayer is that as time goes on, I will be able to give answers to everyone in the language I am learning. This would truly be a God thing. To start in this area, I have started writing out bible stories in simple words and then trying to translate them to my new language. I pray that someday I will have the opportunity to share these stories with someone.
Dear God, Thank you for the opportunity to serve you here in Central Asia. May I be wise in how I interact with the people you send my way each day. Give me the words to say. May my speech be with salt and grace. May I be able to tell them your story. Only by your grace can this be done. Amen