Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”
How are we to represent Christ every single day of our lives? Colossians 4:5 answers this question for us. We are to walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of our time. If you look at the mission of Christ and what Jesus commanded His disciples, you can very easily conclude that His mission was toward others. As a child of God, this must be the same for you and me. Every person who is now part of the body of Christ and who are born in Him are to “shine the light” of Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.”
Many of us know that the world watches Christians very closely, and that they hold us to a high standard. Any failure in us is magnified and used to bring accusation. Well, according to Matthew 5:16, it tells us that this is actually Christ’s intention; that people recognize who we are by our actions. It must point to Christ. Christians are the only Bible a majority of the people ever look at. We don’t always need a running commentary to explain ourselves, rather it should be lived out and read by others. We are the doorkeepers to the way of life, not to block the way of others getting in. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says “and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
So, what does walking wisely toward others look like? We often declare to the unconverted and for that matter to those of the faith as well, declaring great hope and joy in your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that even under trials you are at peace and cheerful. When such a situation arrives in your life, do you fret under these circumstances? When we talk about patience, do you fret under the first provocation? We praise and worship God through prayer meetings and Sunday services declaring the need for holiness and glorifying God, but when you are out and about, the thoughts of your heart and the words of your mouth do not match what you declare? Many people turn away from Christ because of the inconsistency of Christians not practicing what they preach.
Instead you are to live a noble, godly life on the inside and the outside, this will be the most convincing of all sermons. The other way some try to win people to the kingdom is to become like the world and trying to win outsiders by compromising with them. People of this world do not expect us to live as they do, in fact this is the very reason they do not come to Christ. When we surrender our principles, the world notices and we are no different. Jesus says in John 17:16 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” To draw people out of the pit of despair and death in sin, we must first have a firm, strong foothold in the Lord Jesus Christ or else the world will draw us in. The one who walks closest to Christ will be used most powerfully as a tool to draw people to God. That is why the Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:7 (in relation to overseers but also to be applied to every Christians life) saying “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
So walk in a manner worthy of your calling, as the word says in 1 John 2:6 “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (NLT)” Know that the devil wants to keep outsiders from the gospel. Don’t be a tool for the devil by bringing reproach on the church’s message. Don’t be a fool for Christ, but a powerful tool that proclaims His name that many will give glory to your Father in heaven. Amen.
Now, how about your time. Are you making best use of your time? The word of God often shows us the importance of time while we are on this earth. Often times we read through scriptures various passages such as, “The day of salvation”, “the acceptable year of the Lord”, “an appointed time” etc. So, I want you to realize that this is the season and time for the work of the Lord to be done. Today is the the day, don’t leave it for tomorrow. Our master may return at any time and we need to be found working and not sleeping. Who knows what a day may bring forth. Are you to be found ready when the time comes? This time and the day of salvation is limited, use it wisely. Time passes away quickly and the little we have on hand is all that we have. Take time to reflect back on the time that you have already had in the past and you will soon realize that a large portion of our time has been lost.
When you were a child, much of it was possibly wasted in laziness, idleness and slothfulness. As you mature and grow older, much of your time is lost in pursuit of shadows. Some people misspend time because they have no proper object to engage their attention, others are quite at a loss what to make of themselves. Other loose time in delaying themselves and expecting what will never come. Learn from your past and move forward. Proverbs 15:21 says “Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead”. Now is the time for change. Start walking.
Take this time to reflect upon yourself and redeem your time. Do not misspend your time any longer, treasure the scraps of time that you have left. Now is the time, today is the day to use time rightly. Use your time now while it is yours. The past is only a memory and the future is an undivided inheritance, so this present time is the only moment that can be used. As you use wisdom in employing you time wisely it is also important to avoid the extremes of either overworking yourself, leading to burnout or on the other hand no work at all.
In conclusion, seek out time and do not merely wait for it. Use your time to benefit others in order that you represent Christ by being a shining light in this dark world. Be more faithful of the present time, “the now”, “the today”; because so much of the past has already gone to waste and the future is yet to come. Finally, daily examine your use of your time and if you are walking wisely toward outsiders? Determine if you are glorifying God in the way you represent Christ through your daily living and through the time you spend for God and in teaching, preaching, exhorting and reproving other. Go forth and be a shining light for Christ. Amen.
T.L. Cuyler, D.D. (The wise and winsome walk)
T. Watson, B.A (The redemption of time)
L.O. Thompson (The right use of time)
Bible reading from the English Standard Version (ESV)