Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. - Vs 15-16 (NASB)
Be careful how you walk, how you live your life. Watch your step. Walk in love (Vs 2). Be imitators of God (Vs 1). Walk as children of the light (Vs 8).
Paul calls us to live our lives differently than those around us. We are not to blend in, but stand out. We're not to look like the world around us. Paul says, "do not be partakers with them!" (Vs 7). Instead our lives should exhibit the "fruit of the Light" – consisting of goodness, righteousness, and truth. We are supposed to find out what pleases God and then do it (Vs 10). This is what a life lived in the Light looks like. But those who live in darkness, apart from God, live lives that are unfruitful, and we are supposed to expose them, not join them. We're not even supposed to talk about the things they do. But in our society, we seem to get a perverse pleasure talking about the things "done in darkness." We watch TV shows that glamorize the lifestyles of those who live in darkness. Reality TV has brought "entertainment" to an all-time low, giving us a glimpse into the lives of individuals whose lives are characterized by immorality, impurity, and greed (Vs 3). Filthiness, silly talk, and course jesting are common fare on the tube and in many of our lives today. We have forgotten how to blush. Instead of being ashamed and embarrassed by the "sons of disobedience," we too often become partakers with them. We join in. We become like them and in doing so, we walk as unwise men and women. Our light diminishes. Instead of exposing the darkness around us, we become absorbed by it.
Paul is calling the community of Christ to shine, to let the Light that is within us to illuminate the darkness around us. Darkness is an absence of light. But because we carry the Light of life within us, we should be shining into the darkness with lives characterized by goodness, righteousness, and truth. Over in the first letter of John, we read, "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:5-7). We are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. But if we live our lives in the Light of God, just as Jesus did, we get to enjoy the fellowship of one another, and the constant forgiveness of our sins. Fellowship and forgiveness. Those are just two of the many benefits we enjoy when living in the Light.
So we are to be careful how we walk, how we live our lives. Our lives should be characterized by wisdom, not foolishness. Our speech should be characterized by thanksgiving, not obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. We are to be filled with the Spirit. Why? Because the days are evil and we need to make the most of the time we have here on earth. We should want to make good use of the days God gives us here. We have an opportunity to make a difference. We have the solution to the world's darkness right within us. It is the Light of Jesus Christ.
For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But this precious treasure––this light and power that now shine within us––is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own." – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
We have the Light within us. But we need to let it out. So that everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
Father, thank You for the Light of Your Son. He illuminated my darkness one day and I have never been the same. Thank You that I share that Light with others, and together, we have the privilege of allowing the light of Jesus Christ shine through our lives into the darkness all around us. I confess that my light is dim at times and I allow the darkness to overwhelm me. But I want to let the Light shine more brightly and I want to shine together with my brothers and sisters in Christ so that our presence could dispel the darkness, expose sin, and attract others to the glory of Jesus Christ. Amen