“Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.” (Colossians 4:5)
H. Jackson Brown has been quoted as saying, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” The world around us is full of opportunities – opportunities for advancement, opportunities for relationships, opportunities for blessings. The list goes on.
When we miss opportunities, sometimes we cannot get them back. Once an opportunity has passed us by, our choice of whether or not to take it is permanent. In hindsight, we may find that not taking some opportunities was a right choice, while with others we may have missed out tremendously.
In my life, I can look back and see opportunities that I have missed out on. But I can also see the ones I have taken that have worked out for good.
Last year on Twitter there was an event going on called Faith Pitch. This is an event for Christian writers to enter a small, Tweet-sized blurb about their novel, using the hashtag #FaithPitch at the end. If a publisher reads the Tweet and is interested, they will like the Tweet and contact the author.
This was an opportunity. I had written a novel and was looking to get it published. I considered not bothering, because how many authors get selected due to a Tweet, anyway? But I decided to give it a shot. And, because I did, an acquisitions editor from Ambassador International liked my Tweet. Now my debut novel is on its way to being published, all because I seized an opportunity.
In evangelism, opportunity is everything, and it is so easy to miss. We encounter people almost every day that could be there because God put them in our paths. For all we know, it may be the only time we ever see them, the only time to ever present them with the gospel.
This is why Colossians 4:5 says we are to make the most of the time. We do not have unlimited time on this Earth, and the time we do have should be spent well. When we have opportunity to present the gospel, we should not let it slip by.
Lost opportunity does not just mean not telling the lost about Christ. It can also mean ruining an opportunity for a lost soul to know Jesus because of the way we treat them. The first part of Colossians 4:5 says to act wisely toward outsiders. This is referring to those who come into our churches lost. There is opportunity to present them with the gospel, but if we mistreat them – do not make them feel welcome, exclude them in any way, make them feel like a burden for being there – then that opportunity is lost.
The quote I used earlier – “Nothing is more expensive than missed opportunities” – is even truer with evangelism. What is the cost if we miss out on those opportunities?
The first, and biggest, cost is the eternal soul of the person we are witnessing to. Could someone else witness to them, or could God reach them a different way? Yes, but we can never be sure if we might be their last opportunity. If we are, and we miss that, then they could be lost because of us.
Another cost is the reward we would receive in heaven if we did witness to them. Some will get to heaven and receive countless rewards for their witnessing efforts. A man from my dad’s church recently passed away. He had a ministry where he set up a booth at county and state fairs, handed out gospel tracts, and witnessed from his booth. In addition, he visited flea markets every weekend and witnessed to people he met there. Whether those people were actually saved or not, we may not know, but it is sure that he received many rewards in heaven for his efforts.
Opportunities are precious. As we go through life, let us strive to not miss out on opportunities that God may put before us to bring another person into his kingdom.