I love the way Paul sums things up so simply at the end of his epistles. This passage in particular speaks to me, challenges me to live a certain way:
I want to devote myself to prayer, to set aside time for prayer and to have random conversations with God as I go about my day.
I want to be watchful of things God is doing. God's always up to something, but most of the time I don't even see it.
I want to thank him for what he's doing.
I need to pray for my spiritual leaders, that God will open doors for them and that they will proclaim the mystery of Christ clearly.
That doesn't negate my own role in proclaiming Christ, and so I want to live wisely toward outsiders, those who don't know Christ. I want to represent him in everything I do so that they see God's love in me, that they are drawn to the Holy Spirit in me. I want to recognize the opportunities God gives me to share my faith stories. Part of being watchful.
Likewise, I want to welcome people who are new to our faith community and value them and include them, so that they experience God's love and acceptance.
I want my conversations to be full of grace, sprinkled with biblical truth. Not in the way that I'm cramming my opinions down people's throats, but that the Holy Spirit speaks to them long after I'm gone.
This is Paul's challenge to the Colossians and to each of us.