In the conclusion of Colossians we read that masters should treat their slaves just and fairly. Remember you also have a Master in heaven, Paul says. He continues to give an example of how to care for servants, which carries the thought from chapter three about restructuring the Roman household authority from male authoritarian structure to a more loving Christ-center structure where Jesus holds the authority of the household. Wives allow their husbands to lead the family because they know their husbands are fully devoted to Christ and are leading their family in love. Children should be reared in the admonition of the Lord. Paul states that servants should also be treated with the same love and respect. We learn in this chapter that Tychicus (tikka-kiss) is carrying Paul’s letter and will read it to the church. However, he is traveling with an escaped former slave who belonged to a Colossian believer named Philemon (fy-LEE-mun). Paul wants this slave, Onesimus (oh-NESS-e-mus), to be greeted with brotherly love, treated with love and respect. Paul ends the letter to the Colossian church with greetings from fellow believers.
I want to take a closer look at verse two and verse five. Verse two states, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” When we communicate with the LORD, we should have our minds focused on Him, taking our thoughts captive, and our hearts should be in an attitude of thanksgiving for all He has done. Paul says we should use this focused time of speaking with the LORD to pray for our ministers. Pray our ministers will have divine opportunities to speak to unbelievers about Christ. Verse five states, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity, let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Paul says to be aware of your conversation, especially around unbelievers. It is important when we speak we do so in a way that our conversation reflects our Savior’s teachings. By being mindful of our conversation, we will always have the correct and true response for those who are watching us.
Did you see the promise hidden in verse five? It’s a so that promise. I participated in a Bible study many years ago called Living So That by Wendy Blight. She proposed that the so that statements in the Bible are a Greek hina clause, which means in short that it is a clause with purpose. Allow me to read a paragraph from her book, “The authors of Scripture knew this distinction and, led by the Spirit, intentionally chose to use these two words to connect a truth of Scripture to a practical application of that truth. They used them to bring truth alive and make it relevant and applicable to our everyday lives.”
When we look at verse five, we find a so that scripture with an imbedded promise. If we keep our conversation Christ-centered the promise is that we will always have a correct-Holy-Spirit-inspired-response to believers and unbelievers alike. I challenge you today to live a so that life seeking out all the promises of God.