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Making the best use of the times

By Wilson Caldwell

How can I healthily approach someone with whom I tend to face disagreement?

A very simple and thought-provoking question, yet one that, based on the current cultural climate, is going unnoticed. It does not take anyone very long to understand that we are living in a time where the gifts of discernment, patience and gentleness are lacking, all the while having been replaced with the character traits of ignorance, agitation and harshness.

We have certainly taken a turn for the worst in regards to common decency, courtesy and care. The mindset of “opinionated prominence” has gripped our culture in such a way that we tend to remain at each other’s throats. This can be found through flipping on the news and being fed with raucous raising jabs, or by witnessing the uncomfortable and unstable relationships of those that tend to exist on different sides of the spectrum. A divide is bursting at the seams of our country at an astounding rate, leaving us to question, “Can we just get along?” As a follower of Jesus Christ, I find myself regularly battling with the sobering reality painted above.

Recently, while studying within the book of Colossians, I found a truth that strikingly stood out to me and challenged me in regards to our current cultural climate. The verses read, “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” (Colossians 4:5-6, ESV). Walk wisely. Make the best use of your time with outsiders. Always be gracious and seasoned that we may know how to answer others. What simple yet profoundly neglected truth within not just our society but also the church. For, sadly, we have become more concerned with proving a point and destroying the opposition, rather than sharing our point and loving the opposition.

It is time we begin thinking how we can make the best use of our time. Rather than sitting in our recliners and feasting upon the latest divisive cable news argument, perhaps we should sit at the kitchen table and dig into God’s word. Rather than actively and aggressively criticizing the decaying and immoral culture surrounding us, perhaps we should repent of our own flaws and look for opportunities to share the transformational truth of Christ with others. Rather than acting like the sky is falling and causing mass hysteria, perhaps we should find joy that the Lord has prepared a home secured in eternity for His children. Instead of arguing and being bitter, perhaps it is time that we be ushers of love and peace.

Perhaps we should ponder the words from Colossians 4:5 and truly make better use of the time we have been given. For we are not here to “prove a point.” We are here to direct others to a “point proven” — Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and the only way and hope for mankind. Trust Him today. Share Him today. For He is constant, immovable and unchanging. May we pray for more people to agree and surrender before Him as their everything. That is the peace that is worth hanging upon.

Wilson Caldwell is the associate pastor of students at First Baptist Church Suffolk along with his wife, Brittany. He can be reached at students@fbcsuffolk.org.