“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Even a casual reader of Proverbs gets the distinct impression that wise people have certain specific characteristics.
In the passage above, the apostle Paul cements that impression by identifying three concrete traits of someone who is living wisely. Anyone who can truthfully answer these three questions with a “yes” can rightfully be called wise.
Do I live circumspectly? The Greek word used here can best be defined as “accuracy which is the outcome of careful diligence”. It is how Moses exhorted his countrymen to live when he said, “only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today” (Deuteronomy 15:5). It is how Joshua wisely lived, for it is written, “As the Lord had commanded Moses His servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Joshua 11:15). If you walk circumspectly, your life has a laser-like focus on doing nothing more and nothing less than God’s will.
Do I make good use of my time? Humans are immortal beings living in mortal bodies. Our lives are governed by time. Every one of us has a finite number of days in the dash between our birthdate and death. Time is irreversible. Yesterday’s missed opportunities cannot be regained today or tomorrow. Time cannot be saved. Therefore, time is the most precious commodity earth has. It can either be wasted or invested. Because the days are evil, those awaiting utopia’s arrival before they start investing will be utterly disappointed. If you are redeeming the time, you are doing all you can when you can today.
Do I understand the Lord’s will? Righteous principles are not to be agreed with, they are to be lived. God has the best and clearest understanding of the brevity of your life, the purpose of your existence, and the importance of your time. If you understand the Lord’s will, your wisdom is seen in your life.
Circumspection. Redemption. Understanding.
How wise are you?