“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:5-6
The first part of this verse posed some issues for me in comprehension. Turning from the ESV to the NIV, we get a better grasp on what verse 5 is telling us:
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” -Colossians 4:5 (NIV)
So we must carefully and with wisdom interact with those around us. Don’t lose opportunities placed on you by the Spirit to go talk to someone, be an ear to them, or some other prompting you may feel. Many of us know what it feels like to ignore a Spirit-prompting. It’s disheartening, disappointing. But following one feels like a fulfillment of purpose, a new energy born into our lives.
Verse six may reference Mark 9:50 and other places where Jesus refers to us as the “salt of the earth.”
“‘Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’” – Mark 9:50
[In Paul’s time, salt served primarily as a preservative, keeping meat from spoiling. It was valuable enough to be used as a form of currency. And, of course, it changes the flavor of whatever it is added to. In that regard, Paul’s use of this metaphor has more than one meaning. The believer’s words are to preserve the message of Christ, helping it effectively reach as many people as possible. What a Christian says ought to add value to the conversation; our words should be uplifting or helpful.] (quote)
Don’t miss the moments you have to be human and a light to others (cf. Matt 5:16). God speaks and moves through those moments, and our reaction to them is valuable and increases curiosities in seeking souls.