Thursday, 1 June 2017
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5
The words are similar to Ephesians 5:15, 16 –
In exhorting believers to “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside,” he is saying that we are to act in a manner which is above reproach. Everything we do is to be done fairly, with integrity of heart, and with the goal of being the finest example of emulation that those around us can find. In acting in this way, we are more likely to win them over to Christ. “Those who are outside” is referring specifically to non-believers. We should obviously act this way among believers, but Paul instructs that we should act this way at all times. If we deal one way with believers and another with unbelievers, it would – all by itself – demonstrate a lack of integrity that would certainly not be worthy of emulation. Who would want to follow the path of a hypocrite, unless they too were already hypocrites? And what Christian wants to be surrounded by a bunch of hypocrites?
The title of “Christian” should be carried by people who are wise, honest, and filled with integrity. And in that capacity, walking in this way toward those who are outside, we will be “redeeming the time.”
The word “redeeming” comes from the Greek word eksagorázō. It is a combination of two other words, ek, which indicates “completely out from.” This intensifies the word agorázō, which means, to “buy-up at the marketplace.” In this then, it indicates to “take full advantage of, seizing a buying-opportunity, i.e. making the most of the present opportunity (recognizing its future gain)” (HELPS Word Studies).
In the few hours that we have each day, in the short number of days we have each week, and in the quickly fading weeks, months, and years of our lives, we need to take advantage of the time we have been given, pursuing the greater and weightier matters which have eternal significance.
Instead of whining about what is bad, we should praise for what is good. Instead of moaning of our situation, we should be in prayer for the needs of others, and for the glory of God. Instead of reading novels which satisfy our minds for a moment, we should read and study God’s word which will enrich our souls for eternity. Rather than telling others about the latest sports statistics, we should tell others about the great deeds of the Lord and the love of God found in Christ Jesus. These are the type of things we should pursue in order to redeem the time.
In such ways, and in relation to those who are non-believers, we will be using our time in a manner which is properly directed toward their eyes and hearts. We will be bringing them closer to, not pushing them away from, a relationship with Christ.
Life application: Those around us are watching. Many are perverse and will never come to Christ. Instead, they are enemies of soundness and right reason. But there are those who are evaluating the world around them, searching for answers to life’s difficult questions. If they see us filled with joy, contentment, and peace, they will want that. If we act in this manner towards them, they will want it even more. Such should be the conduct of our walk.
Lord God, help us to walk in a manner which is worthy of emulation by others. Sure enough, there are a lot of perverse people who are simply the enemies of Christ for whatever crazy reason exists in their heads. But there are many who are simply not aware of the goodness of the Lord. If we are their only gauge of what a believer in Christ Jesus is, then will we draw them closer to You, or will we drive them further away? Help us to act in a way which will draw them in! Help us to be decent representatives of the marvelous Lord we serve. Amen.