Summary: Don’t you wish that human beings came equipped with some kind of mechanism or system that could kick in with flashing warning lights and noisy warnings that would go off and stop us from doing the regrettable dumb things in our lives?
Are You Wiser Than A Fifth Grader?”
Ephesians 5: 15-17
* Portion of this sermon are from a message by Andy Stanley *
OPEN: How many people have ever watched a show called “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” It’s a television game show format based on asking grade-school level questions to adults, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. In the history of the show only one person has ever actually won the 1 million dollar prize. Only one adult has ever been able to say the phrase “I am smarter than a fifth grader.” I’ve got to confess that at this point in my life I refuse to even watch the show. - I don’t need to be reminded of how dumb I actually am, thank you very much. Well today we are going to start a series of messages on how to live with wisdom. Now All I really want to accomplish this morning is introduce this topic – we won’t really get very much further than that.
We’ve all done some dumb stuff in our lives we wish we had never done, haven’t we? There is money we wish we had never spent, relationships we wish we had never gotten into, maybe marriages we wished we had never gotten into gotten into, deals you wish you had never made, partnerships we wished we had never formed, investments you wish you had never made, dates you wish you had never gone on, invitations you wish you had never answered, opportunities you wish you had never taken advantage of- and on and on it goes. For all of us the details are different, but all of us have chapters in out life we wish we could go back and rewrite – don’t we?
And the odd thing is as we look back those things we wish we got get a redo on - we can see with absolute clarity how stupid we were to get ourselves involved in those dumb things. We look back at those things and say, “How in the world could I have been so dumb? – so blind – so foolish?” It’s so perfectly clear now, isn’t it? And what’s strange is that we are now running into people who are making similar decisions to the ones that we made and you watch them making the same dumb decisions that you made and you say to them – “You really don’t want to go there – you don’t really want to make that decision – you don’t really want to walk down that road because it is not really going to take you where you think it’s going to take you –I’ve been there, I know.” And do you know how they respond to you? They respond to you the same way you responded to others who tried to warn you. They tell you that it’s none of your business and they feel like this is the right thing for them to do – it’s what their heart is telling them to do. They say silly things like, “But I love him” “I feel like this is what I need to do for me right now.” Years later what seemed like great motivation at the moment seems so absolutely ridiculous now. “How could I have been so blind?” Isn’t it amazing how decisions that seem so appealing then seem so bizarre now? – it is amazing how many time our heart can deceive us and we end doing things we wish had never done? Now we are living with regret and guilt and things we wish we could undo – because we allowed ourselves to do dumb things we can’t erase in our lives.
Don’t you wish that human beings came equipped with some kind of mechanism or system that could kick in with flashing warning lights and noisy warnings that would go off and stop us from doing the regrettable dumb things in our lives? (Remember the robot from that old sci-fi movie? Warning Will Robinson! Warning!) Don’t you wish you had a personal robot that go off like that and stop you from stepping over the line with the dumb things in life? - Actually, God has provided a tool for you to help you avoid doing the really dumb thing in life – it’s not a robot (who would want a robot following them around all the time any way?) but these three verse that we are looking at today are way better. Because you can carry these verses around inside of you and use them as a filter for ever opportunity, every invitation, every date, every thing you are tempted to be a part of, every decision, Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Notice that this passage starts off with a statement of conclusion. Be careful then – how you live. Both the NASB and The KJV start off with the word therefore -be careful how you walk – starting in chapter four everything has been building up to this one idea – live with wisdom. Have a worthy response to what Christ has blessed you with - live as children of light – be imitators of God – find out what pleases God and do it. Add that all up and you have the Lord saying, “be very careful then, how you live - don’t be foolish - live wisely. You see in a way everything has been building up to this idea. – Christians are to live lives that reflect wisdom and not foolishness. You can’t be careless in the way that you live.