Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
My gratitude... I grew up in a family where Athiesm was praised. Agnostic, you are their buddy too. Christians? Well, you better have guts of iron because they will put you through the wringer. They will take the Lord's name in vain more than usual in your presence... just to watch you squirm. They will ridicule every.last.move because if you aren't the perfect picture of Jesus then, in their mind, you are a poser and they are ready to throw the punches.
Some days it would be subtle. Others, it was down-right war. They (and I at the time) don't/didn't understand the concept Paul often references as spiritual babies. 1 John even seems to be written to this group of new believers... trying to learn how best to glorify God and screweing up pretty consistently along the way until one day, those mature steps start being taken. But I can't give my family a hard time for that... even many Christians don't realize this about the walk we are called to when we accept Christ as our LORD and savior.
Lord: He is in charge. He is what it is all about.
Coming into this understanding after rededicating my life in my early 20s, I had a richer belief after falling away. I had a deeper understanding because of my broken family and my unbelieving relatives. I have written many times how my biological dad is an atheist... of how we didn't talk for years because of the persecution. Yet, when I started praying and asking God WHY, why did he give me such a challenge for a dad, a quickly received my answer: his unbelief has helped grow my belief. His steadfastness in the un-realness of God has created a deeper and more seasoned trust in the realness of my Faith.
No, it hasn't been easy. But through it all, God has taught me so much. He has taught me, most of all, how to pray in Thanksgiving through all things and to trust Him, seeking Him for the words I need, when I need them... especially with my family but also with all those I encounter on any given day. I am grateful for this. For how God has grown me and for how He never stops giving the words I need to be seasoned with salt.
What are you thankful for as the result of your reflections on Colossians 4 this week?
Post your own Gratitude Reflections this week, share the button and share your post in comments below and/or on my Facebook page! Let us encourage each other this week.
It's not to late... you can gather around the thanksgiving table and share gratitude. You can even still print the page below for adults and children alike to do something fun during your dinner gathering. (click on image to go to the pdf.)