Colossians 4:5-6 is a great Scripture on walking wisely when witnessing. It states, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
We are always being observed by unbelievers (those outside God’s family). So, it shares how to walk wisely when witnessing to them:
1. Approach them in accordance with God’s wisdom (the opposite of this world). Redeem means to purchase or buy. Thus, it will cost you time and maybe something else. Yet, do so anyway, making the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
2. How you talk to them should be in a loving not condemning manner, just as kind and respectful as your Savior talks with you (grace).
3. Seasoned has to do with preparation. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar, but you do need to be available and able to share your own testimony and/or possibly one passage of Scripture—for faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17).
4. Salt can preserve or make something more palatable. When you share the Gospel with an unbeliever, you are giving them the opportunity to be preserved for an eternal existence with Jesus. When your speech is salty, you can cause the hearer to become thirsty and you can make what you say easier to digest or to taste better.
5. “How we ought to answer each one” lets us know that each person must be dealt with uniquely. We cannot just have a pat answer for everyone we meet. Scripture should not be changed, but how we share it should be customized to each individual.
For example, I was in the drugstore when I heard a scream. In following the scream, I noticed a woman on the floor wrenching in pain. I ran over to aid and help her. As an employee, she was placing items on the shelf, slipped, and was now in excruciating pain on the floor with evident bruises on her face and arms. Immediately others gathered around to help too. Once we had her stable, I wanted to make the most of this opportunity as stated in the Scripture. I asked her if I could pray for her and she responded, “yes.” I prayed aloud so all could hear. Finally, they took her away.
Viewing this incident in accordance with the Scripture, you can see how these steps were fulfilled. In a respectful, graceful way I declared the Lord through the means of prayer before all the people who surrounded her. It cost me time, and it could have cost me rejection and embarrassment had she replied “no” to my request to pray. Yet, in God’s wisdom, we must not let opportunities pass to share Him with others.
Someone is watching you. Are you walking wisely when witnessing? Your life is a witness whether you speak a word or not. What message are you declaring?