Monday, June 18, 2012
"Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out." -- Colossians 4:5-6 The Message Translation
Who are the "outsiders" in your life? In the verses above, I believe Paul is speaking about non-Christians. It is natural for us to want to be around and hang out with people who like to do the same things we do, believe the same things we believe and think in similar ways...it's comfortable to live like that. But, if you follow Jesus, you know that Jesus leads us to step out of that comfort zone and interact with people from different walks of life.
If you only hang around people who are "like" you, you are missing the boat, and the whole point of Christianity. The verses above are filled with great advice. Not only are we to live and work among outsiders, we are to USE OUR HEADS and bring out the best in others in our conversations and build people up not put them down.
Talk to people and get to know them. Use your heads and allow God to lead your conversations so you are creating positive relationships with people...all different kinds of people. People who are living in ways you don't agree with...people who don't know God and the blessings he can bring...people who are living in ways that make it obvious they NEED God in their lives. Talk to them without juding their lives. You never know when that opportunity will arise when they will reach out and WANT to learn more about Jesus. And, even if they don't...be gracious with them and not treat them as an outsider.
You never know when you will be an outsider to someone else...One of my favorite books and movies is The Outsiders. That story is about kids who were different and just wanted a safe place to belong. How many people do you run across each day who just want to a safe place to belong? We ALL feel like that sometimes.
Jesus was an outsider...Think about it!