“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.” Colossians 4:5
When we see attacks on pregnancy help ministries by those who oppose us, our first reaction can be to fight back, and sometimes we must do those things necessary to repel these onslaughts.
For instance, when we see false reviews of our ministries on Facebook, Google and Yelp we must set the record straight. It’s unfair not just to us, but to our potential patients and clients, when a false review deters them from seeking our services.
And yet Paul, in wisdom that can only come from the Lord, writes that we must “conduct ourselves with wisdom toward outsiders . . .” Outsiders are those outside of the faith, like so many who work with the abortion industry.
Wisdom dictates that in our communication with these outsiders, we must, as Paul says, make “the most of the opportunity.” Where we see a threat—and it is—Paul sees something greater; an opportunity.
When attacks come, we have an opportunity to do so many things: We can show the world how Christians best respond to attacks, shining the light of Christ in a dark world. We can show our clients and patients we are never deterred and always looking out for their best interests.
In addition, we can show the abortion industry—the very group attacking us—that we will not cower but will choose to advance as we love those who come in our door.
Every outsider, whether a client, patient or even one who wishes to tear us down, is an opportunity. When we begin to look at each person or each situation as an opportunity instead of as a trial, we find the wisdom we need to reach out with love, compassion and strength.
So, who is coming in the door today? Is it someone with a problem? Or is this someone who presents an opportunity to show the love of Christ?
Paul had the wisdom to find opportunities in all situations, whether in a jail with Silas in Acts 16 when they sang and a miracle took place, or in front of kings, as he shared his message. Paul was an ordinary person with an extraordinary message.
And that makes us . . . just like Paul. Let’s look for opportunities. We never know what God might do.
by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
"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 to respond to each person." Col. 4:5-6
For a moment, let's place ourselves in the shoes of one who enters one of our centers or residential homes. Think of all of the flooding emotions, uncertainties and questions.
The first-time visitor to a pregnancy help organization knows little about us beyond an advertisement or a friend's referral. Now, she (or he) is suddenly alone, at the mercies of those inside the door.
Concerns and questions arise from everywhere. Will they be nice to me? Will they judge me? Do they care about me? Do they have an agenda? Will this cost me something either financially or emotionally? What kind of people offer this for free? Will they try and control me in some way?
These are legitimate questions, coming from a lens of cynicism toward a society where we are told to "get what you can, whenever you can," or to ask, "What's in it for me?"
She feels like an outsider and has legitimate fears any outsider might face.
This is where Paul's words ring so true: "Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace . . . ."
Different situations require different pearls of wisdom, and as we look at each person we see as an opportunity to impart God's perspective and hope into a situation, we gain clarity as to what we should say, and how to say it.
Speaking with grace is the foundation of so much of what we do. Those we see, whether they admit it or not, often feel judged. Interestingly, this judgment is often internal. Speaking with grace can often turn an "I feel judged" situation into, "I can change, and here is my opportunity!"
Utilizing wisdom, and speaking with grace don't guarantee that we will always see positive outcomes in those we see. But, these two characteristics do lend themselves to hope; and we never know where a little hope can lead.
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