You may think I have the title backward. “Isn’t it usually ‘walk the talk’, Rob?” Yes..usually…the idea being that we don’t want to just talk about our beliefs without putting them into practice. But as we finish our study in Colossians this Sunday, we’ll find that Paul puts an emphasis on talking.
We’ll be reading all of chapter four, but our focus will largely be on verses 2-6. (The Message version)
We could break v2-6 neatly into two sections: v2-4 and v5-6. The first kind of talking Paul mentions is talking to God. Prayer. It’s often an uncomfortable subject because so many feel inadequate when it comes to prayer…or struggle with a sense of condemnation because they automatically think they don’t “do it enough”. That’s a brilliant strategy by our enemy, because the results of that is usually the avoidance of prayer on our part, until a crisis happens.
What have your experiences in prayer been? Have you learned to find a comfortable means of communicating with God? Everyone’s experience will be different, I’d love to hear yours.
Paul says to “continue” in prayer…that word means to be devoted to, or constantly attentive to something. Like…when you’re watching a football game, but you have to fix a snack, you work on the sammich, but also listen to and snag glimpses of the game as you pile on the lunch-meat. Or…maybe a nobler example would be more suitable: if you’re a parent, and your child is sick in another room, you may go about your work and deal with other issues…but there is part of you that is constantly on vigil, attentive to your child’s sounds and possible needs. Right?
THAT is how Paul said our conversations with God should be. What does that tell us?
Part of what Paul asks them to pray for is wisdom for him, to know how to talk to people about the gospel (v4). Does that strike you as interesting, and even a little surprising? Paul needs to know how to talk about Jesus? Maybe, or more appropriately, he needs to know how the gospel should be presented?
Which leads us to v5-6, which deal with how WE present ourselves, and communicate with people. Does anyone else have trouble reconciling a “bullhorn” evangelist with v6? Maybe it’s just me, but somehow, the two seem incongruent.
As you read Paul’s final, personal greetings, is there anything that catches your attention that you’d like to hear expounded on? I’m planning on skimming it…but if there’s something of interest in there to someone besides a historian who is intrigued with fitting the puzzle pieces together, I’d be glad to touch on it.
Anyway…hope you’ve enjoyed Colossians. See yer’ Sunday!
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