Walk in Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.   Colossians 4:5

 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,   Ephesians 5:15

 These passages are challenging for those who are under grace.  We are to walk in wisdom, circumspectly, not as fools.  The particular context here, explained in the Ephesians passage and referenced in the Colossians passage, is our relationship with the world and the people of the world.  There are practical dangers for the people of God in this world.

Let’s be sure we are clear on this.  I do not believe that the temptations of the world can cause us to lose our salvation or to fall out of favor with God.  But I do believe that those temptations can affect our marriages, our health, our relationships, and many other parts of our lives here and now.  For example, I see a lot of joking about alcohol among those who celebrate the freedom of grace.  That may be innocent enough, but we cannot forget that alcohol holds a serious trap for many people.  I sometimes see grace folks flirting in overt ways.  I am not a prude, far from it, but I do know that there are dangers in flirtatious relationships.  We do not want to deceive ourselves.  Not everything is safe for us.

Legalist teachers are very aware of the dangers of this world.  They would use these verses to call us to be very careful as we walk and they would be happy to provide us with rules so we could walk rightly (according to their standards).  We don’t need this.  We simply need to follow our Lord.

The call of Jesus is not for us to watch our steps.  In spite of the sound of these verses, it would not be helpful for us to try to live by a set of rules.  It has not worked and will not work.  So the believer is not called to watch where he or she walks, as though you and I could somehow discern the dangers for ourselves.  Instead, we are called to follow Jesus.  We are to watch where He walks.

Imagine that you are walking through a minefield.  The mines are carefully concealed.  The person with you knows the path through the field.  What should you do?  Should you try your best to walk carefully through the minefield, always aware of the danger?  Or should you watch the person who knows where he is going and follow him?  Seems simple, doesn’t it?

So walk in wisdom by following Jesus.


Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism, Relationship

5 responses to “Walk in Wisdom

  1. Reading words like this make me breathe that sweet sigh of relief! And yet, there in my mind, or maybe it’s really on my shoulder I hear the voices of some people I’ve known and currently know, “Yes, but what about ______________?” I’ve found on this short journey of mine that following Jesus is not easy, especially among some Christians. And I have yet to wrap my head around that one!!

    • There’s so much I could say! This is a challenging comment, something I had to think about for a while.

      Two things: First, Jesus compared the lie of performance spirituality to the leaven which pervades the dough. It seems simple and innocuous, but it has an effect which grows and touches everything around it. Those words of condemnation, shame, and performance do affect us. So, Paul told us to pay attention to our own thinking, to get rid of the leaven/lie and live as the new creation we are. (1 Cor 5:6-8) I suppose we can’t be responsible for the lies others accept or teach, but we don’ t have to accept them ourselves. And you are right, it isn’t easy to live around those who believe the performance lie.

      At the same time, Jesus told us that the kingdom of Heaven would have the same effect. (Matt 13:33) The truth will be heard and the seeds will grow. Just like you and I did, others will hear the word of grace and love in Jesus and that truth will expose and supplant the lie in their hearts. So, we are to focus on the truth, speak the truth, live in the truth, enjoy the truth. And trust that the Lord will use the truth to transform lives.

      Thanks for making me think!

      • DIdn’t mean to challenge you with my comment. I’ve been told I’m quite the challenger, something I carry shame for. So…..I apologize.
        I think.

        “we are to focus on the truth, speak the truth, live in the truth, enjoy the truth. . And trust that the Lord will use the truth to transform lives.”

        That’s good!

  2. Rebekah, you are always free to challenge my ideas, but I didn’t take this that way. I just had to think about how to answer your comment. No apology necessary at all.

  3. Libby Smith

    Really like the minefield analogy, Dave. The Lord contines to reveal areas where I have my “head down” watching what I or others are doing instead of just focusing on Him and His life flowing through me! Thanks for the reminder,

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