“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
C O L O S S I A N S 4 : 5 – 6
O P P O R T U N I T Y.
What is the one thing that every person with vision desires? It’s opportunity. They have the skills, desire, passion and plans, they just need the right person or circumstance to come around and give them a chance. Haven’t you heard? It’s all about Who you know.
Have you ever desired an opportunity to be used by the Lord? A lot of us have this desire right now. We want to help others understand that living a life with the Lord, “through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16) is the most freeing, fulfilling and beautiful thing anyone can experience. The problem is, we think we need the perfect opportunity before we can start doing some serious Kingdom work for the Lord. You may think you need more influence, a big enough platform, a title or to be publicly affirmed by another person before your “calling-career” can be launched. It’s easy to believe making the most of your opportunity is merely sharing the gospel to nonbelievers through social media platforms, using your free time to serve, or to work towards a ministry position. Don’t get me wrong, those are all amazing opportunities to shine your light and if that is what God has called you to do, then be obedient in that. But, what if your opportunity was already given to you?
What if the real question is: are you making the most of the opportunity?
As we read His word, specifically Colossians, we learn about what our greatest opportunity looks like and two responsibilities we have to make the most of it:
- prudent behavior/conduct (vs. 5)
- relationships (vs. 6)
These are two things that allow us to make the most of the opportunity already given to us. Anything beyond this, is the work of the Lord. For example, you are responsible for making the most of your time by focusing on prudent behavior and love through relationships, God can then trust you with more responsibility, a greater audience, and new opportunity. It is a matter of being a good steward.
In this journal entry I will be sharing about PRUDENCE, and my next entry will be part 2 of this series on RELATIONSHIPS.
P R U D E N C E.
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
P R O V E R B S 2 2 : 3
What the heck is prudence you may ask? Let’s google a basic definition real quick:
Always remember that prudence means to act in a way that shows you give thought for your future! As a Christian, this is a vital part of our walk. We should constantly be giving thought to our steps with the future in mind.
“What are the consequences of this decision?”
“If I date this man, can I see myself marrying him?”
“If I marry this man, can I see him being a good father to my children?”
“If I go out with this friend, will I start acting like who I used to be?”
“If I start entertaining the flirty guy even though we don’t share the same values, will I end up falling for someone I don’t really want to be with?
“If I invite my boyfriend over late at night, will I end up giving into temptation?
“If I start investing in my early 20’s, will I thank myself later?”
“If I start my education this year, will I be in a better place 5 years from now?”
“If I make more time to seek the Lord and study my bible, will I finally feel close to Him again?”
PRUDENCE THINKS AHEAD
So the important thing to remember is that prudence reveals wisdom. The prudent will make the more difficult, healthier and righteous decision now in order to allow for a future benefit that glorifies the Lord. They are able to do this because they keep an eternal mindset to think ahead. Their decisions go beyond the here and now. They are constantly keeping their mind on heavenly things, and what will be pleasing to the Lord. This keeps them from a lot of unnecessary hurt resulting from sin.
Can you remember a time in your life where you chose the right thing, because you knew the consequences? You made the harder choice and as you look back, you know you were better off for it? It could have kept you from making a huge mistake or from a miserable future! OK, now can you recall a foolish decision you made that had major consequences? It may have been out of impulse or from a temptation that you chose to entertain. We’ve all been there. The only thing we can do in those times is own up to it, ask others to forgive us, repent from our sin, and apply what we have learned.
PRUDENCE REVEALS SPIRITUAL MATURITY
A good thing to remember is that it is more honorable and respectable to fail, own up to your mistakes, and repent, than to mask your sin and put on a false perception of perfection. This reveals and builds spiritual maturity. Something about me is that I appreciate honest people. And I don’t do well with people who try and convince the world that they are incapable of fault or wrong. This does no good. It would be more prudent for me to be honest and own up to the truth about my failures and repentance in order to help you stay away from the weights and sins that erode our character and minimize our opportunity to reach others for Christ. To share this would be the future benefit.
PRUDENCE BUILDS CHARACTER
Prudence not only gives you the wisdom to conduct yourself as a godly example on any platform you’re given, but it also gives you the wisdom to develop your character by making godly decisions on a daily basis when no one is there to see it. I will tell you right now, that I am constantly being pruned, disciplined, and reproved by the Lord. I have mentors that keep it straight with me no matter if I am wanting to hear it. And I have close friends that I know I can trust to call me out when they see me slipping. I appreciate this accountability in my life, because the truth is accountability and even hardship has saved me from heading down a deadly path time and time again. God knew this would help develop my character.
And when our character is developed it ends up helping us make the most of any opportunity, because it is no longer about what we say, or the way we wish we were, but people are genuinely able to see the difference in us because it’s now who we are. And if we are obedient to practice living a prudent life it will develop our character over time. This is a goal. That is why we must remember that our decisions and choices have consequences that effect not only you but others, and not only the present, but the eternal. Let’s choose wisdom in order to make the most of our opportunities by being prudent in our behavior and conduct. This is an element of this walk that we can not bypass, it is crucial as our goal is to be used for the Lord’s glory!
CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER
Prudent behavior is vital for the following:
- wisdom to think ahead
- building spiritual maturity
- developing character
Now don’t miss this:
Prudent behavior is vital to spiritual maturity and it is sure to develop character. Our goal is to grow in our walk with Lord while making the most of our opportunity with outsiders by living a prudent life that gives eternal thought to our choices.
Please stay tuned for my next journal entry on this series: COMPANY SHE KEEPS.