The Apostle Paul wrote, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5). These inspired words place a great responsibility upon the Christian to live in manner that brings glory to Christ before those who are without Christ. Jesus had previously said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). What are some of the practical implications for the Christian to “walk in wisdom”?
First, Christians are to “walk in wisdom” so that Christianity will be seen as genuine and credible before the world. The world does not know and understand the truth and most often the first introduction to it is coming in contact with one who is a Christian. Christians walk carelessly before the world by living immorally, cursing and swearing, having an explosive temper, or simply being rude and arrogant toward another and will have no positive influence for Christ.
Second, Christians are to “walk in wisdom” so as to lead one to Christ. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Jesus’ words set in motion the responsibility that the church in general has as well as individual Christians. How difficult this process becomes when the local congregation or individuals within the congregation are trying to teach the gospel to those “who are outside” and Christians do not “walk in wisdom”.
Third, Christians are to “walk in wisdom” in order to be able to give an answer about the truth to those “who are outside”. Paul goes on to write, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you out to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). What if you get into a discussion with a friend, neighbor or coworker about biblical things and yet you do not “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside”? How difficult will it be to convince one that you have the truth, but in front of them you are not living it? Another aspect of this verse is that the goal is not simply to win an argument, but the goal is to win a soul to Christ. Consideration for the soul and eternal destiny of the other person will cause the Christian to calculate carefully his / her words and the manner in which things are said. The power is in the gospel (Romans 1:16, 10:17) and the Christian must live and speak so as not to hinder that power.
Fourth, Christians are to “walk in wisdom” by “redeeming the time”. This simply means that the Christian will make every effort to make wise use of his / her time. This should not be taken to mean that there is no time for rest or relaxation in the life of the Christian, but the context speaks with reference to how we life before those who are not Christians. We should never let our guard down in that respect because when we do we are not using our time wisely. Every moment can be a teachable moment when the Christian is with one who is outside of Christ. Let us walk in wisdom.
by Wayne Brewer