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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reasoning and Seasoning

Conduct yourselves wisely… Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt…
(Colossians 4:5-6 – ESV)

In verse 4 of Colossians 4, Paul asks for prayer that he might speak as clearly as he ought. Paul speaks of prayer and witnessing, and we are to follow his lead. How he ought to speak is also how we ought to speak, into the acknowledging of everything with Christ as preeminent. We are all to pray for open doors and have open hearts.

We need to be speaking to others about Christ, and to be doing it in a wise and winsome way. Many sacrifice the wise for the winsome, preaching to felt needs instead of to the real need, and others sacrifice the winsome for the wise, and come off as “holier than thou”. That is not how it ought to be. Truth without love is too hard; love without truth is too soft. We need both; we need reasoning and seasoning.

The pull of the tide toward human-centered religion is powerful and it is not uncommon to see otherwise discerning people swept out to sea. Everything but the true religion is pulling them toward the false religions. Making the best use of our time does not mean total separation, as in isolation, but in wise use of our worship, quiet time, and fellowship with believers. We are not to be isolated but insulated, in the world but not of it. In engaging people you know over time, the so called friendship evangelism method, remember, this: if you are becoming more like them then they are you, then it is time to pull back. Be with them but don’t become like them.

Wisdom within, wisdom without – If we let the Word dwell with wisdom among us who are within (Colossians 3:16), then we will walk in wisdom to them that are without. It is about reasoning and seasoning. It stars from within, and it travels to places without.

The opposite of wisdom is foolishness. Foolishness is not ignorance but refusal to learn, and we must learn in community as well as individually. Wisdom doesn’t know all the answers but it recognizes them when they appear. In the midst of community the answers will become clear. Not that we will receive some message while we are in church, but that while we are plugged into the local body of believers, God will providentially bring the events to pass that will make the paths straight. God orchestrates reasoning and seasoning within His church, as the believers pray for one another and for missionaries and all the other things they all come together and we grow, individually, and as a unit. This will equip us all to be better ambassadors in our world.

Paul takes for granted that believers will be in local churches. Today, however, we have the strange situation where there are those who are outside the local church setting yet are actually within the Body of Christ, or at least they claim to be so. So we need to walk in wisdom to those as well, we must show them that they cannot consider themselves within if they remain without. In these cases we also need reasoning and seasoning.

Looking at the whole book of Colossians and drawing to this point, we may put it all together this way: Keep your hope, keep Christ first and foremost, keep being knit together, keep away from things that would distract you from Christ as all in all, keep putting off the old and putting on the new within the context of community, keep yourself with a strong Christian witness no matter what your social situation is, keep praying and being thankful, and then you will be able to keep responding in a Christlike way to those who are without and those God is drawing to Himself. Learn of Christ, and live of Christ. Reasoning and seasoning.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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At 7:48 AM, Blogger donsands said...

Such a fine post. Well spoken words.

Over the years I have witnessed with too much truth (too hard) at times, and too much love(too soft) at times.
God has been faithful to mold me so that I learn the art of "Reasoning and seasoning". And I'll be learning until the Lord comes, or I go to be with Him.

The learning process can be good. As it is here, reading this fine teaching. Or the lesson can be eating some crow at times.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Even So... said...

Yep, eating crow is a fine lesson as to why we need to become seasoning to others, so that sometimes we can ask them to pass the salt...

Sounds like I have a new post to write...

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Craver Vii said...

Yo; "pass the salt." Fo-shizzle, dawg!

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Even So... said...

Sure thing, Craver...



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