Watch your Walk
Category : General
Colossians 4: 5—KJV
5Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
He makes mention of those that are without, in contrast with those that are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10.) For the Church is like a city of which all believers are the inhabitants, connected with each other by a mutual relationship, while unbelievers are strangers. The phrase of our text may sound harsh, and might be used, as it was by the Jews, from whom it was borrowed, in a very narrow and bitter spirit. Close corporations of any sort are apt to generate, not only a wholesome esprit de corps, but a hostile contempt for outsiders, and Christianity has too often been misrepresented by its professors, who have looked down upon those that are without with supercilious and unchristian self-complacency.
Having in the former part of the verse, directed the Colossians to walk wisely before the unconverted Gentiles that were among them, in this latter part of the verse, he advises them to redeem every opportunity, for gaining over those infidels to the Christian religion. A Christian that knows the worth of time, will redeem it, will improve it for the soul, for the benefit of his own soul, and for the advantage of other. Christians, in all their interactions with men, especially with irreligious men, should be open, frank, honest, and sincere; kind, amiable, benevolent, serious, and cheerful; showing by example the supreme excellence and loveliness of true religion.
The “wisdom” here enforced is more than mere prudence. [Ephesians 5:15.] It means that while Christians are to abstain from such sins as disgrace their profession, and are to preserve a holy consistency, adorning the doctrine of God their Savior; they are also to exhibit, at the same time, not only the purity of the gospel, but its amiability, its strictness of principle in union with its loveliness of temper, its generosity as well as its rectitude, and its charity no less than its devoutness and zeal. We must be careful to let “those without” not be told of Christian self-possession in a tone of irritation, or of Christian happiness while uneasiness sits on the brow of the speaker. We are to guard with precision and let no one wrangle about the duty of peacemaking, or bow his face to the earth as he tries to expatiate on the hope of the gospel. We must take note and remember that the world’s Bible is the daily life of the church, every page of which its quick eye minutely scans, and every blot on which it detects with gleeful and malicious exactness. We must also note that the same wisdom will assume the form of discretion in reference to time and place. As was said, “Unwise efforts at proselytism defeat their own purpose; zeal without knowledge is as the thunder shower that drenches and injures, not the rain that with noiseless and gentle descent softens and fertilizes.” If we remember, it was Christ who said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matthew 7:6.
Have a great and godly day!