If people only knew Jesus based off your life, what would they think? It’s a tough question to wrestle with but one that I believe is needed. DL Moody an influential Pastor from the past once said, “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.” The truth is whether we like it or not our actions, attitudes, words, and lives in general will be what people know of Jesus before they get to know Him. So that means we must be conscious of how we live and interact with others. In Colossians Paul understood this because he realized the greatest testimony we could have would be that of hearts and lives transformed into His way.
In Colossians 4:2 Paul gave some of the secret sauce on how to grow as a follower of Christ, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” This simple formula can be powerful for us. Start by praying to God, then be watching for Him to be moving and answer our prayers, and finally thank Him for His faithfulness in answering our prayers and taking care of us. While doing these things are not something others will see in your life, they are what helps produce the fruit in your life that others will see and others will be drawn to that fruit which will draw them to Christ.
Paul goes on in Colossians 4:5-6, “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.” There are some great nuggets of wisdom in these two verses, the first one is don’t miss opportunities to love your neighbor. Every day if you are willing to be used, God has opportunities for you the show the love of Christ to others, don’t miss those chances. Secondly is that we should be more concerned about being gracious than being righteous. Not to miss read that as we shouldn’t be concerned with correct Christ-like living, but if you look at how Jesus dealt with people especially “outside” the faith, He was always more concerned with being gracious than being righteous. We should learn from and practice that too.
Arguments don’t save people, Jesus does. Hate doesn’t transform hearts in the name of Jesus, love does. We should remember that and choose to make sure our conversations are full of grace and seasoned with salt. In ancient culture salt was of great value because of its power to help preserve things and its flavor obviously makes things better. In the same way we should seek to have our interaction with others to be full of grace, seek to help them be preserved ( find Jesus), and how we live should show something different and better than the norm.
May we choose to live out the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:13-16, may we be salt and light.How does a dark world know they are in the dark if they don’t experience the light?How can a bitter world know there is more if we are not salt?Let’s love our neighbors well and may they be drawn into a life transforming relationship with Christ. Let’s live the salt life.