â€œLet the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.â€ (Colossians 3:16)
One of the words which has come into wide use (actually misuse) in our generation is the word â€œcharisma,â€ along with its derivative â€œcharismatic.â€ We speak of a politician as having charisma, or a charismatic personality, for example. Another common use of â€œcharismaticâ€ refers to those who practice speaking in tongues. But these are not the true meanings of these words, at least not in terms of their original usage.
This latter usage, in particular, comes from the inclusion of tongues as one of the â€œgiftsâ€ of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1, 28). The Greek word is charisma. It does not mean â€œtongues,â€ and neither does it mean an outgoing and articulate manner. It simply means â€œgift,â€ or better, â€œfree gift,â€ a classic example being Romans 6:23: â€œThe gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.â€
Charisma, in turn, comes from charis, which means â€œgrace,â€ and is usually so translated. For example, in the words of our text, if the â€œword of Christ dwell[s] in us richly,â€ we shall be â€œsinging with grace in [our] hearts.â€ Furthermore, just a few verses further on, we are admonished to â€œlet your speech be always with graceâ€ (Colossians 4:6). Then Paul concludes the Colossian epistle with: â€œGrace be with you. Amenâ€ (v. 18).
Thus, true grace in our hearts will produce grace in our speech, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will always be with us! This is the true charisma! A truly charismatic person is a gracious personâ€”one to whom â€œGod is able to make all grace aboundâ€ so that he or she, â€œalways having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good workâ€ (2 Corinthians 9:8). HMM