The book of Colossians is a great source of information for greater Christian living. In the last two chapters, Paul exhorts the Christians in Colossae to live the type of life that shows their faith in Jesus the Christ. In chapter three, verses one through eleven, he describes the basics of Christian living. In verses twelve through seventeen, of chapter three, he describes the Christian’s apparel. In chapter three verse eighteen through chapter four verse one, he describes the guidelines that should govern Christian families. With these in place, he goes on to speak about the essentials for Christian living.
It always helps to have a source that, like a cheat sheet, quickly breaks down some of the important aspects of our duties. Chapter four, verses two through six, does that for us. First, we need to continue in prayer (2-4). A prayer that is faithful (Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:17). A prayer that is alert or vigilant, much like what Jesus told His disciples on the night of His betrayal (Matt. 26:41). Also, a prayer that is thankful. Colossians has an emphasis on thankfulness (1:3, 12). We should let our requests be made known with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6). Finally, a prayer that is purposeful. Paul had specific things that he had asked them to pray for. Paul often asked prayers for his behalf (Rom. 15:30). For opportunities to teach (Col. 4:3; 2 Thess. 3:1). He also asked for wisdom in this case (Col. 4:4). Paul here offers a great example for our prayers.
Second, he speaks to us that we should “conduct ourselves in wisdom” (Col. 4:5). We should be very conscious of our conduct. It is what people notice and interpret first about us. Today everything is about perception. It must be understood that our actions should not lead anyone to think that we are anything other than followers of Christ. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples…” (John 13:35a). Part of this type of wisdom is being aware of the opportunities that are afforded to us or “making the most of the opportunity.” Paul sums it up this way in Ephesians, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (5:15-16).
Lastly, our speech needs to be seasoned. Jesus spoke and all the people “were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips” (Luke 4:22). This might not be the result we always get, because it wasn’t for Jesus. However, our speech needs to be guarded so that it does not become a stumbling block for anyone coming to Christ. Essentials for Christian living include praying with a purpose, conduct in wisdom and speech seasoned with grace. This is a great way to have a positive influence.