by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beginning of a new life for all believers. It's also the pledge of our resurrection (1 Cor. 15). The study of Colossians is part of this month's meditations on the meaning of the resurrection.
Let your speech always be gracious. seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6, NRSV).
Our inner strength depends on prayer, a practice we may not neglect (vv. 2-4). And our conduct, as observed by "outsiders"—non-Christians—should be an advertisement for Christianity (v. 5).
In The New Testament in Modern English, J.B. Phillips translates these verses about Christian conduct as follows: "Be wise in your behavior toward non-Christians, and make the best possible use of your time. Speak pleasantly to them, but never sentimentally, and learn how to give a proper answer to every questioner."
Notice what God expects of our speech, especially our talk with those who don't know Christ. It must be pleasant and charming without being tasteless or dull. Christian congregations and families ought to train themselves in this kind of winsome talk. Many are in danger of losing the art of conversation altogether. In the rare moments that family members gather in the same room, their eyes are often glued to the screen or hidden behind the newspaper.
God wants Christians to talk with each other and be able to answer the questions of those who don't know him. When we talk with unbelievers, we shouldn't speak in the ranting, sentimental fashion of some television preachers. With grace and wit, we should say something that's memorable and healing.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version