Read Colossians 4:5-6
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (NLT)
We seem to live in a time when many people give lots of offence to others and where just as many people take offence. What can make it hard is that some of those doing the offending have no intention of being offensive. And those who take offence may be overly sensitive to what has been said or done.
However, there is no doubt that whether we intend offence or not, we can still cause it. And even if some are too quick to take offence, we need to be careful to avoid it as much as possible. The less offensiveness there is the better the world will be.
Christians are well aware that the message of sin and grace carries its own capacity to offend. People don’t like being reminded they are accountable to God and that asserting our independence from him is not the best way to live. If we make not causing offence our primary goal, we will end up captive to others’ passions and prejudices rather than merely being sensitive.
But we are to be sensitive, as our text reminds us. While our faith will carry its own uncomfortable meanings, we must be careful to speak and write and act in a way that causes people to dialogue with us rather than dismiss us. We represent a gracious God and have a grace-based faith, so our life and conversation needs to be full of grace. Love for others demands we tell the truth to them. Yet this same truth insists we do so in love.