Colossians 4:3 (ESV)
 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—
Two thoughts stood out to me this morning as I read through Colossians 4:1-6. The first is found in the above verse. When we know of someone who is wrongly imprisoned for their faith our first prayer is for their protection and release. Paul doesn't ask for his release. He asks for open doors to share the gospel and for clarity of speech when those opportunities arise. This reveals to us something of Paul's heart. When you know that this life is temporary, that your hope goes beyond this life, and that those around you have no hope, your perspective changes. The most important thing in life is no longer to survive and thrive. It is to reveal the truth of Christ wherever you find yourself. What if our prayers were less about getting out of uncomfortable situations and more about open doors for the gospel in those uncomfortable situations? What difference would that make in us and in those around us?
Second, Colossians 4:5 says, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time." Notice that it does not say, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, being very careful not to be tainted by their sin." It does not say, "… making sure you don't look like them." It does not say, "Walk in wisdom … being wary." It says, "… making the best use of the time." That statement is followed by a call for gracious speech and the need for wisdom to know how to answer a person." This is about evangelism. This is about being the light of Christ in a dark world. This is about sharing the truth of Christ. When we are more concerned about not being tainted than we are about sharing Christ we never impact our world with the gospel. When we are more concerned about who might see me and what they might think than we are about lost souls we will never be the witnesses we were called to be. Yes, we need to guard ourselves against sin. There are certain places that we should probably not go. A redeemed alcoholic should probably not be doing bar evangelism. But we must be more concerned about being a witness than about being tainted.
He left the splendor of Heaven
Knowing his destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
There to lay down his life for me.
We are called to love as Jesus loved. We are called to emulate the one the world called a Friend of Sinners. We are to be witnesses to the one who became tainted for us so that we might become untainted. We are to walk in the steps of the one who sat at the well and chatted with a woman the religious people of the day considered unclean. Are we willing to go there for the sake of the gospel?
Father, I confess that too often I am more motivated by my desire for personal peace and affluence than I am by the lost condition of the world in which I live. Forgive me. Today let me see the world through your eyes. Let me be the presence of Christ in a lost and broken world. Let me be more concerned about the spiritual condition of others than about my own comfort.
By His grace,