See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
Crossing the threshold into another year stretches out before us like a landscape covered with fresh snow. What principles will guide you as we step-out onto the pristine landscape?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul encourages his readers with the words, “see then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil“ (v.15-16).
Paul’s admonition is usually seen in negative terms—where we shouldn’t walk. In reality, the emphasis is to be aware of where we should walk.One of my best childhood memories is ice fishing with my grandpa in Minnesota. Before stepping onto the ice early in the season, he would survey the frozen surface of the lake and choose a path to the place he’d selected to set his nets.
Based on his experiential knowledge of the lake, the location of springs that fed the lake and water depth, he chose a path with the thickest and most stable ice.
Then, aware of our surroundings, we confidently stepped from the shore and crossed the ice-covered lake.
Wise people are perceptive—aware of what is happening around them and determined to choose the best path.
Walking circumspectly is walking wisely.
Paul explains the logic for walking wisely; we must be actively, “redeeming the time because the days are evil“ (v.17).
A cursory look may give the impression Paul is talking about time-management. In reality, his admonition goes beyond the idea of making every minute count, although included.
The tense of the word translated “redeeming” conveys the idea of buying for profit or advantage. The word used for “time” is not kronos (Greek: χρονος), a word that describes time in terms of seconds, minutes and hours, but rather, kairos (Greek: καιρος ) that communicates time in the sense of opportunities.
The wise individual looks for and profitably uses every opportunity.
Paul’s next statement, “because the days are evil,” is significant. Paul was addressing a church experiencing harsh and cruel circumstances under the oppressive Roman government with ongoing persecution.
He did not tell the church to avoid trials and difficulties; but rather, advised that they seize for profit the opportunities generated in the climate of evil days.
We seldom look for opportunity in evil days. Yet in today’s text, people of faith are encouraged to seek opportunities to increase our faith—to use opportunities to demonstrate peace, joy and grace during difficult times—and, to seize opportunities to communicate the Good News when people are most responsive.
Use the New Year to determine to walk circumspectly, live wisely and seize every opportunity God provides!
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Categories: Christian Walk