Speaking to God and Others
Open Your Bible
Colossians 4:2-18, Psalm 145:18-19, Philippians 4:6-7
Talking about Christ can be intimidating for most anyone. I’ve followed Christ for over fifteen years and received my master’s degree from a local seminary—and I am still intimidated about sharing God’s truth with others. When I read Paul’s letters in Scripture, I am amazed at his conviction for sharing truth with people despite difficult circumstances, persecution, and imprisonment. So, how then, does Paul encourage his listeners, and us today, to live a bold life of faith? He writes: “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).
Prayer and thanksgiving. They are pillars of our faith, hallmarks of an active faith in the Lord, through which we live as ambassadors for Christ. They may sound like the simplest of disciplines for the Christian life, and yet, we are still often paralyzed by fear to speak assuredly with God and with others. But why?
Well, for one, we don’t want to get it wrong. We don’t want to be judged harshly. We are afraid to speak truth into each other’s lives and lovingly call out sin if needed. And we don’t want to be too honest with God about our fears. We don’t want to confess to Him that we feel more comfortable remaining silent around our co-workers or family members when the topic of spirituality comes up. I know that for me, these are just some of the reasons I give for my own doubts.
But Scripture reassures us that “the LORD is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity” (Psalm 145:18). When we ask God for help in difficult conversations, He hears us. When we pray about our every concern or worry, He offers “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Fear is replaced by thanksgiving as we allow prayer to transform our posture toward God and others, and we are equipped to tell others about the goodness of the gospel.
Paul also instructs us in this way: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). Many of our conversations lean on the side of grace—it’s the salty part we have trouble with. In the Old Testament, priests used salt to preserve the offering sacrifice from corruption (Leviticus 2:13). The sacrifice needed to stay clean and holy before it was offered to God. So, when Paul urges us to season our speech with salt, he may be asking us to call out the moral decay we see and help to preserve the holiness in others. Filling our speech with both grace and salt provides us with the ability to edify each person, to build them up toward Jesus, and join the whole body for effective work in God’s kingdom (Ephesians 4:15–16).
Despite our fears as followers of Jesus, staying devoted in prayer guards our hearts and minds. Staying alert with thanksgiving gives us eyes to see God’s work, despite our flaws and awkward conversations about faith. It’s as if Paul is instructing us to worry less and worship more, as we faithfully step out in faith for the gospel.