Colossians 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
Yesterday we learned that we should speak grace always to outsiders in order to preserve their life. The question then is how? People often ask "What should I say to my: husband/wife, neighbour, friend, coworker etc...?" Here is the assumption inherent in the question - There is a box of right answers and if you pull out the right one they will instantly love Jesus. Not the case.
There are two points in these 2 brief verses we looked at yesterday and are repeating today. The first point is "Walk in wisdom" and the second goes directly with it "that you may know how you ought to answer each one". Knowing how to speak with grace and salt to a given person in a given situation requires more than wisdom. It requires active wisdom - connected wisdom - Divine wisdom.
Walk in wisdom... it's another way if saying "Walk with God".
When Jesus was here as one of us He had set aside His Divinity. The power He had to heal and do the amazing things He did came completely from His daily walk with God. He had to rely on Him for everything.
One day in His "walk" He found Himself beside a well in Samaria with a woman that had no idea who He was. It was noon and she was alone drawing water. This was highly unusual. Women didn't draw water in the heat of the day and it was generally done in groups. Clearly something was wrong. He also knew she did not want to speak to Him simply because He was Jewish and she was not. To interact with her was going to require wisdom. His goal was clear but the path to reach that goal seemed impossible.
"Can I have a drink?"
Had he offered to help her by fetching the water, a seemingly gentlemanly thing to do, pride would have caused her to refuse the kindness and the opportunity to speak to her would have been over. By asking for a drink He was saying He was willing not only to be helped by a Samaritan but drink water touched by "unclean" hands from the well of "unclean" people. Most Jews wouldn't even set foot on their land much less drink their water.
Her reaction is telling. "You being a Jew will take water from me?" She is both surprised and disarmed. He has not only accepted her water but torn down the invisible barrier of prejudice.
Wisdom - that you may know how you ought to speak to each one...
Let me give you an insight. You don't need a seminar on witnessing to know what to say to your neighbour that will open the doors of their soul. You need wisdom from above. You need insight into your neighbour only God can provide.
As the conversation developed between Jesus and this foreigner/stranger Jesus said something bizarre: "Go and get your husband and return and we'll continue talking". Knowing the culture this was a reasonable request. Men spoke to men. However the amazing part is what follows...
"I don't have a husband."
"You have spoken well. The truth is you have had 5 husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband".
Woah! How did He know that?! Remember Jesus is human. He has set aside His Divinity. He has no special "soul reader" or "secret exposer" that He is using on her. All He has is what is accessible to each one of us. He has His Father. The Bible says Jesus arose every morning while it was still dark to meet with His Father. This was the source of His wisdom. That constant connection carried throughout His day. The insight into her private life came from God. It turned out to be the clincher. She instantly knew this man and this apparently coincidental encounter was no coincidence at all. She knew this was a God moment and her life would never be the same.
As God's witnesses we could and should be having more of these encounters. The reason we are not is that we are not walking in wisdom so we don't recognize the opportunities or we get in them but don't know what to say.
The truth is the disciples would never have had the powerful encounter Jesus had with her simply because their own prejudice would have prevented them from speaking to her at all. See you may be obsessed with speaking to your husband or your friend when Jesus wants you to speak to the janitor or that guy in the office no one likes.
Walk in wisdom. No walk = no wisdom.
Knowing the theory of Christianity and being connected with Christ each day are two very different things. Let's get connected again. Today. Everyday.