4 "(Pray for me) that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak."
Colossians 4:4 (NASB)
Anytime a diverse group of people are dropped into the same locker room, we can expect diverse perceptions of Christianity. Discussions involving Jesus will often be joined by the critics, the curious and the cautious.
Personal opinions usually rule. Christians are labeled with political positions. Grace is confused with performance. The Christian message is judged by personal benefits rather than an eternal solution to a personal problem.
If this describes your locker room, you may be scrambling for the same help that Paul sought: "Pray that I make it clear in the way I ought to speak."
Paul was not praying for help to win an argument. The word "clear" means "to illumine, to make plain or visible."
In other words, Paul was praying that his words would turn the lights on for others, especially when they loved the darkness.
In today's culture, people respond to a two-way conversation more than a one-sided presentation. The give and take of a conversation is an opportunity to sort through misconceptions about Christ, to cast light on His offer of life.
Do our words make the salvation message clear or muddy? God is the One who penetrates the hearts of people and draws them to Himself, but as His ambassadors, we want to speak clearly.
Two things will help us develop clarity in how we interact with people over the gospel. One way is spending more time in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The more personal that our relationship with Jesus becomes, the more personally we can speak of Him.
A second way to develop clarity is to tag along with more seasoned believers when they share their faith. Take note of the way they engage with people, how they explain a relationship with Jesus and how people respond.
Joining the conversation becomes much less intimidating in that context.
Go for clarity.