“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” ~ Colossians 4:5
Explanation of the Text: The Christian life is a life of scrutiny. It is one in which you are under constant surveillance, with others watching intently. There are a variety of reasons that people monitor you. Some do so in the tenderheartedness of care and concern. Others, having the same tenderheartedness do so for the sake of keeping you accountable, not to belittle you but to life you up. Few will do so in a more sinister way, looking for that next opportunity to jump when you fall. Then there are the many who continue to watch you when you don’t realize it. Not understanding Christianity, they seek to see if you are any different than they; with their gaze, they ask the question, “Does this person really walk in the same way they speak?” Having seen the opposite be true so many times, many have utilized the label “hypocritical” as the keynote definition of the church. This is their experience, this is their expectation, and for this they are watching closely.
For this reason, believers are to walk in wisdom. Although Paul has requested prayer for his own ministry, he is not neglecting the fact that the Colossians also had a ministry, just as each of us has. That ministry includes teaching the word of God and making disciples (Matthew 28:19). It is with words that this must be done (as verse six indicates). However, the character of one’s personal walk often provides the very evidence of conviction that many see and need. However, this requires wisdom. “What need we have of that, if we are to display the right character, if we are to say the right word, if we are to recognize the right time, if we are to employ the right tact, which shall not put them off, but pull them in.” It is of great comfort then, that we walk not alone, but with Christ, who is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Examination & Application of the Text: It can takes years to build up a positive testimony, and sheer moments to destroy it. To make the best use of time calls on one to continuously walk in wisdom. A lasting testimony is maintained when the character of one’s life continuously reflects Christ. It is in this way that one has the greatest impact on outsiders. To do so though requires commitment.
It is a commitment in mindset, maintaining the accurate view that there are many who are watching. This commitment forces a recognition of the spiritual battle we are engaged in. This commitment compels one to be a constant witness for the sake of seeing others reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. This commitment reminds one that their testimony is constantly on display for others to see. Everything a person does is a reflection of Christ then.
The second commitment is to continuously walk in wisdom. The word walk denotes a lifestyle in which one continuously lives in a manner that is worthy of the calling in order to make the greatest impact. This of course is not done without the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It requires a continuous submission to Him in order that He has complete control in order to both mold you into the person He needs you to be and to use you as He sees fit. The difficulty of this is that it means one must examine himself or herself deeply, looking at the most despairing areas of one life. It is those areas that we often mask, not wanting to look at because of the revelation they give of our true state. Yet, it is these parts we must look at in order to get rid of them, so that our lifestyle will be one of wisdom. May this be our commitment today, a life that is continuously marked by Christ, who is wisdom, in order that others may come to know Him as wisdom as well.
A life lived for God is an investment of time. It takes much time building up a testimony. It takes much time sharing with people, being astute to the timing of what you say and looking for those moments when their heart is at the softest point. It can require a lot of patience, because people don’t always respond as quickly as we like. However, we must make the best use of all of the time we have been given.
 Guy H. King, Crossing the Border: An Expositional Study of Colossians (Fort Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1974), 115.