Talking To People About God, Part 2

Talking To People About God, Part 2 May 8, 2013

The final installment of my musings on Colossians 3:3-6(which, for sake of space, you’ll have to look up yourself). In verse 6, Paulinstructs us to speak in a manner “always full of grace,” and for good reason.The gospel is a message of love and compassion, and we have to share it in away that demonstrates this! There’s a bigger point at work here: evangelismisn’t really about saying certain things; it’s about being a certain kind ofperson—one who loves Jesus and loves people. Always remember: we are notout to win arguments.

This means we have to be people who are living in thegood of the gospel ourselves. When the message of the cross captures your heartwith joy and amazement, then your tongue—stammering, awkward, and imperfect asit may be—won’t be far behind. As Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heartthe mouth speaks.” When we remember that Christianity’s most basic concern isthat Jesus Christ died and rose again so that sinners like me and you could bemade whole, we’ll be filled with hope and happiness and eagerness to talk aboutit!

Our speech should also be “seasoned with salt” (v. 6).Salt stings and cleanses and leaves people thirsty for a drink. Our words oughtto be gracious and salty at the same time. We should say just enough to leavepeople eager for more.

And finally, we should “know how to answer everyone”(v. 6). The call to evangelize confronts us with a choice that must be madewell before we encounter any real, living people. It’s a decision we must makein our heart about how we will view and respond to the people in our lives.Here’s what I mean. You can respond to people in one of two ways: use them orserve them. If we are determined to serve them, we will share the good news.But if we are willing to use them for our own purposes, we will fear them anduse them to prop up our own self-image. 

The key issue here is identity. Where do I get it? If Iget my identity from the gospel, I will keep sharing the message. If not, Iwon’t. And the cost is incalculable: we protect our pride at the cost of theirsoul.