Communicating with a Purpose for a Purpose – Colossians 4:6

AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart

Every year when my sisters and I were young, my parents would select a Bible verse for each of us to memorize and focus on living out during the year. They put time, thought, and prayer into the selection of these verses. So when they gave me Colossians 4:6 on a laminated piece of card stock, I knew there was intentionality behind their choice.

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  

As a quiet young girl who tried her hardest to say as little as possible, this verse encouraged me to make use of my words and be intentional. This shifted my perspective. Instead of doing my best to use as few words as possible, I started to view my speech as a way to point others to Christ. Of course this was a daunting task for a shy eight year old , but it was the beginning of a transformation in my way of speech, a change God continues to work on to this day.

Since I memorized it at a young age, Colossians 4:6 has always been one of my favorite Bible verses. This past Sunday we visited family out of state, and I got the chance to listen to my uncle preach on this same verse. I loved the insight he had!

To put this verse into context, let’s look at the verses that come before it. Colossians 4:2-6 says, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

We can see that Paul challenged the church of Colossae to be evangelists to the unbelievers that they knew. While Colossians 4:6 is often quoted as a stand alone to encourage gracious speech in general, Paul specifically asked them to be intentional with the speech they used around those who had not yet been saved by God’s grace.

When my uncle spoke on this passage, he broke it down into three sections. First, we as Christians communicate with God. Second, we communicate with God about others. Third, we communicate with others about God. This formula is taken right from the format of these verses.

Communicate with God

“Continue in steadfast prayer, being watchful with thanksgiving.” God calls us to be in constant communication with Him. We see this theme throughout the entire Bible. Prayer is an essential part of the believer’s life – it brings spiritual nourishment and direction and is a commandment that is given over and over by God. Prayer brings us to a place of fullness in Christ.

Communicate with God About Others

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Paul is in prison and what is he asking for prayer for? Opportunities to share the gospel! We are called to intercede on behalf of those who are not saved, to pray for open doors to share Christ’s love, and to ask for clarity as we present the gospel. Not only are we to spend time communing with God through prayer, but we are also called to spend time in prayer for others.

you are lovely-6

Communicate with Others About God

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” As we interact with friends, family, coworkers, or fellow students who are not saved, this verse challenges us to make the most of the time that we spend with them. Keep an eye out for opportunities to talk about the vastness of Christ’s love. When we spend time in prayer for these same people, we are more in tune with the Spirit’s leading as we live life alongside of them.

A Heart for the Lost

Growing up, I always knew that the lost needed a Savior, but it wasn’t until I started going to a state college, seeing firsthand the brokenness on campus, that I truly began to have a heart for the lost.  As I sat in church last Sunday morning, I was challenged to begin praying for those who don’t know Christ as their Savior. I have a list of people that I come in contact with on a regular basis that I have been praying for. As I’ve spent time interceding on their behalf, I have been more in tune with the Spirit’s leading when there have been opportunities to share my faith.

This is my challenge to you — pick three people that you come into contact with on regular basis who have are not saved. Make a commitment to pray for them, and listen to the Spirit’s leading as you interact with them. Will you join me in intercession for the lost?

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