Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
(Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV)
The passages we’ve been studying over the past few days discuss how the life of a believer should not be the same as the life of a non-believer. Those of us who are God’s children through faith [John 1:12-13] should live differently.
It is our responsibility to make sure we don’t live as the darkness we used to be but as the light we now are. Living like the unsaved sinners we were is unwise. But God wants us to live wise lives. To do this we need to look carefully as we go through life. The Greek word translated “carefully” is βλεπο (pronounced: blep’-o). It means “to consider; to examine; to contemplate”. God instructs us to think before we act.
Too often we just rush into things without thinking through the consequences. We do this out of habit or because we don’t want to waste time. But in this verse God tells us that taking the time to contemplate our life will result in the best use of our time.
The word “time” here does not refer to chronological time. It refers to our life. God wants us to make the most of our life because the days are evil [1 John 5:19]. There is much activity in our world that is sin. It is certainly easy for one of God’s children to partake in the evil that is around them, especially if they do not take the time to carefully consider their choices.
To live wisely we need to understand what the will of the Lord is. We need to know what is pleasing to God. Having an affair may seem like fun. But that would not be pleasing to God. Berating someone who hurt you may seem like the right move. But that would not be pleasing to God. Looking at pornography might not seem that bad. But it would not be pleasing to God.
God does not wave magic wands over people to instantly change them into what they should be. If He did, He wouldn’t have to give us instructions as He does in today’s verses. It is our responsibility to understand His will by studying – not just reading – the Bible [Proverbs 2:6] and to practice the art of self-discipline [1 Timothy 4:7]. Going through life any other way is foolish.
God has given us life. That is a great gift. He does not want us using the short time we have in ways that harm us and other people. He wants us to live wisely – as an example to the evil world around us.
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