Learning to “Talk the Walk”

communicationn-copyYou 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!

3 comments

  1. I love what Paul wrote, “stay sharp and keep your eyes open in gratitude…” really positive for a guy in chains. AND, did anyone notice that he didn’t add, “and when you have gathered together bind the demonic forces that have me in these chains and beseech (yes Paul would’ve said beseech) our Father in heaven for my freedom”? Instead, he asked for wisdom not to miss an opportunity to present the gospel, WHILE HE WAS IN JAIL. Wow, that is just amazing (and humbling).

    I also agree, no one has ever been converted at the end of a bullhorn. Whoever thought that one up must have been playing for the other team. I have mentioned before my run-in with “Bullhorn Boy” as I went into a U2 concert. All it made me want to do was remove his bullhorn and put it “where the streets have no names”.

    And finally, I know that you will skim the personal stuff, but I just think it’s cool that these guys and gals made it into scripture. People that we have no other record of, but they helped form the foundations where we now stand. Folks just like us, doing the work of the ministry. They are our spiritual forefathers, if not for them and the sacrifices they made, where might we be??

    till sunday

  2. Just like Paul, we too can communicate this great gift of grace to others. Grace is the salt that seasons and preserves. When we communicate, our speech will indicate the condition of our hearts. God will use a heart full of grace, full of and thankfulness for the amazing gift of grace given to us by God in His son’s sacrifice, to bring others to Him. With everything happening in our country and world today, people need Jesus’ grace more than ever. What an amazing gift to share with others this Christmas!!!

  3. i agree about the bullhorn the more some one shouts the more i tend to not listen. paul is amazing and humble to ask for pray like “everyday people”. he avoids all glory and gives it to Christ. as far as my experience with prayer, wow have i come along way from being a submissive catholic girl. trying to memorize and pray just so. \formality took me away from god for many years. b.manning in”” the ragamffin gospel” really melted my heart and helped me know that “Abba”my pappa loves me! Prayer is not about formality. its about honesty. god wants us to experience his peace! i like the way paul says too that we are here to bring out the best in other too.he was such a diplomat.

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