"Once you pop, the fun don't stop." This is the slogan for Pringles chips. Lay's Potato Chips marketing wagered, "Bet you can't eat just one." There's something about a salty snack that keeps us munching. Yesterday I was grabbed a pretzel... then I grabbed another... and another... and another. Until I finally walked away from the bowl of pretzels I kept eating them.
We, as Christians, need to be like a salty snack. We need to interact with people in a way that keeps them wanting more from their interactions with us. Often we are Bible thumping, abrasive, judgmental people that turn people away from us after one first interaction. Unfortunately, Christians are more likely to be baking chocolate than Pringles and that has to change.
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:5-6
In the final chapter of his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul wrote the words above to encourage the local church to be a positive influence in the community. We need to take Paul's advice today. I see three things that we can do to follow Paul's instructions.
1) Be wise and make the most of every opportunity.
Every time we are outside the walls of the church building we should be ready to make the most of every opportunity. Many people are not going to come to the local church to learn about Jesus, more often the local church is going to have to come to them... you are part of the church meeting people where they are. This means we all have to make the most of every opportunity because every single opportunity could make an eternal difference in the life of a person and in the life of the Kingdom. This is a big deal!
Also, we need to be wise. I think this means that we need to realize that not every situation you react in or person you react with will require the same strategy from you. The way you make the most of your opportunities at work will be different than how you do the same thing at the gym. The way you interact with your cousin will likely not be the same as the boy you coach on the Little League team. We must be wise. Imagine what it would be like if we prayed for wisdom in our interactions with people every time we left our house.
2) Our speech must be gracious.
We Christians are much more famous for what we don't believe in than for what we do believe in. We are often too abrasive. Now, speaking the truth is a must, but God forbid we use any tact! Some Christians have this idea that the more bull headed their approach is the more steadfast their faith must be. This is silly. Christians should be the most gracious people in the world because we've been shown immense grace. Our speech should be more often a balm than a barb.
3) Our speech must be seasoned with salt.
When Paul says, "seasoned with salt" he means that our speech should be like a Pringles chip. The way we talk and interact with people should make them want more. Sometimes we turn on the fire hydrant of information when we talk with people and we blast them away. Our speech should make them want more, not drown them. Pray that God help you speak in a way that is seasoned with salt like a pretzel or Pringles chip.
Christians, the world needs Jesus. Will we beat Jesus into people by our brash behavior? No way. We must make the most of every opportunity we have. We must speak graciously, not harshly. We must have speech seasoned in salt that makes people want to come back for more. So, let's stop being the baking chocolate of the world, instead let's be Pringles Christians.
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" today.