By Oscar M. Baker
You've got to get folks curious before you can give them a message of truth. "Walk in wisdom towards them that are without..." (Col. 4:5).
How can we make this, "mystery of Christ" (Col. 4:3) which we have accepted and known, how can we make it, "manifest, as I ought to speak" (Col. 4:4)? Many folks have told me that when they try to speak of the mystery, they get tongue tied. Well, I will tell you this, you can't go out and shove it down people's throats. You can't do that! You can't go into a church and tell them they are all wrong about their traditions, and so on, you can't do that' they aren't ready for truth! Now, it's a little piece of psychology, and I think it is also a piece of truth, that you try to get the conversation steered into such a channel that you can get that person curious, and he will ask you a question. Then without pushing it down someone's throat, and being forceful and all that sort of thing, you can answer his question. Then you can go on from there if he's interested at all. Of course, if he stops and you see he doesn't want the truth, there's no use of wasting your breath, might as well go on to somebody else.
Now Paul was doing these things, and I think Paul was very wise. And when you look at the Lord's ministry, you notice how He did, how He brought about questions so He could speak to folks. And you know it was then, a little bit like it is today, if the Lord was out in public and somebody asked Him a question He started to answer it, He'd have a whole crowd around Him in a little bit listening.
I'm just giving you this as a suggestion here, "bewise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matt. 10:16). But you've got to get folks curious, and want to hear something before you can waste your breath in giving to them a message of truth. If their ears are closed to it there is nothing you can do.
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without...", that is, folks are outside of the circle of the church which is the Body of Christ, walk in wisdom toward them. As I have said, "be wise as serpents" - "redeeming the time" - watch your opportunities when you can get a word in edgewise once in awhile, your foot in the door, so to speak. And, it just may be that two or three words just at the right time can change a person's life course!
"Let your speech be always with graces, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man" (Col. 4:6). Be very gracious in your speaking, don't be bossy, don't be over-lording it, don't give them the impression that you know more than they do. All of these things repel people and drive them away from you! Just be like they are, common and so on, be very gracious and kind. Now seasoned with salt that's a little figure of speech there meaning, make it palatable and interesting to them, "...so that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." That is, if he asks a question of you, that you'll be able to answer.
(Excerpts from Truth For Today tape 4-6-82, "Colossians Series")