“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. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Ephesians 5:15-20
Wisdom is knowing how to walk. More specifically, it is knowing what to walk after, and what to walk away from.
St. Paul directs us to walk away from:
Whatever evil of the day is in vogue (v. 16).
Folly. Foolheadedness. Which is different from being a holy fool (v. 17).
Drunkenness, or any similar excess. Anything that would fill you in place of the Spirit of God (v. 18).
St. Paul waves us on and chases us toward:
The revealed will of God. The kinds of things God would smile upon because they display his character (v. 17).
Anywhere the language of Gospel is the common tongue (v. 19).
Praise and thanksgiving, which always re-orders our view of the cosmos, when done right (v. 19, 20).
Maybe another way to sum up these two lists that St. Paul would approve of would be to say, always walk within reach of the cross and in orbit of the broken tomb.
Which certainly seems to resonate if we consider wisdom in light of the verse just before our selection starts -
“Awake, O sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.” - Eph. 5:14
This verse seems to suggest that wisdom is walking toward the light of Christ and walking away from all our comfortable deaths. Like a little kid following after a parent, jumping from deep footprint to deep footprint in the snow instead of trying to trudge his own path, wisdom is following after Jesus and knowing exactly where and where not to step.
Faith and Practice:
Today, where is Jesus pointing you to step? Are you following in his tracks, or cutting your own paths? What is the result? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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