Apologetics 5 – Conversing in grace

The aim of this devotional study is to consider the how to engage non-Christians in conversation.


Colossians 4:5-6

5  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

6  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Observation and reflection

Context: The environment in Colossi was hostile towards Christianity, especially because the conduct of believers set them apart from the pantheistic, immoral culture of their day.

  1. What do you understand Paul to mean when he instructs these believers to:
    1. “walk in wisdom towards outsiders”
    2. “making the best use of your time”
    3. “let your speech be gracious”
    4. “seasoned with salt”
    5. “know how to answer”
    6. “each person”

2. What does it mean to be gracious in conversation?  How does one do that, especially when talking to someone who does not share your opinion?

Personal reflection and prayer

Especially skeptical unbelievers are keen observers of your daily conduct, looking for integrity (“the distance between your mouth and feet”).  As Edgar Guest put it “I’d rather see a sermon, than hear one, any day”

  1. Consider your conduct of late, or a recent incident. Are there things which you do that disagrees with what you believe? Or (i.e. how you treat people, how you work, how you spend money, etc).
    1. Pray about it, asking the Lord for forgiveness, and grace to fix it. Then fix it.  (Should you ask forgiveness?)
  2. Search your heart about talking to unbelievers. Do you sense fear / hostility / bitterness / frustration?  Bring these thoughts to God and ask that he will fill your heart with love for all people.
  3. Is there an unbeliever with whom you can dialogue about faith? Pray and think about how you can gracefully and creatively engage them about their worldview and your faith in Christ.  What will interest this specific person?  How can you lead him/ her closer to Jesus?
    1. Pray about that, and make notes as you talk through this with the Lord.