Summary: Paul's insight to daily Christian Life
August 19, 2018
Being A Good Christian Means:
Walking on Water? No - Walking in Wisdom? Yes
Paul has this way of hammering a point, doesn’t he? No beating around the bush here. Todays New Testament Reading begins at verse fifteen, chapter 5.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, verse 15 - redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Verse 16
Circumspectly? When was the last time you heard that word? What does it mean?
I think we may have a general idea of the meaning but to be certain let’s look at the formal definition.
CIRCUMSPECTLY: an adverb – meaning carefully, vigilantly, guardedly. It is the opposite of indiscreetly or uncarefully.
Paul is saying that we really must give heed to walking in wisdom. Just how do we do that? Wisely! We should not be hasty in our actions, words and reactions. In our Wednesday evening study of the Book of James, A major theme is “careful in our speech – guarding the tongue”. Well first from James and now from Paul! Do you think maybe God is trying to tell us something?
Next, Paul reminds us that “the days are evil”. Here in Jacksonville, muggings and murders on our streets have become almost daily news. That sounds pretty evil to me. Look at what is going on in our nation’s capitol.
I am an old geezer and never in my lifetime have I witnessed such negative, hate and evil in politics. What I see is a total lack of circumspect in speech and actions.
Being circumspect demands that we THINK before we speak or act. What impact and upon whom will my words and actions have? We can apologize and beg forgiveness, but we must face the fact that damaging and hurtful words cannot be retrieved.
Now we read on in verses 17 and 18:
“Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”
Understand what the Will of the Lord is? In this case, Paul just told us what the Will of the Lord is: walk circumspectly!
“Do not be drunk, in which is dissipation” verse 18 - We can play word games all we care to but when you get right down to it, we all know what it means to NOT be drunk. I am not addressing the issue of alcohol consumption here, as it relates to biblical interpretation. That is a subject for a message all on its own.
But let’s look at this word dissipation. I went to Wikipedia on this one:
dissipation (countable and uncountable, plural dissipations)
1. The act of dissipating or dispersing; a state of dispersion or separation; dispersion; waste. quotations ?
2. A dissolute course of life, in which health, money, etc., are squandered in pursuit of pleasure; profuseness in immoral indulgence, as late hours, riotous living, etc.; dissoluteness. quotations ?
3. A trifle which wastes time or distracts attention. quotations ?
4. (physics) A loss of energy, usually as heat, from a dynamic system
Hmmm. That definition says to me WASTE! SQUANDER! PURSUIT OF PLEASURE! With definitions like that, what possible good can come of it?
I once served on a task force for Governor Lawton Childs of Florida. We did an in depth study of the relationship between alcohol and crime. I honestly do not remember the exact numbers, but it seems to me it was above seventy per cent of crimes in the United States have some form of alcohol involvement. That makes a clear distinction of dissipation, at least to me. How about you?
“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” verses 19 and 20.
If someone walks up to me out of the blue and starts singing psalms and hymns, I will probably be looking for an exit, especially if it is a stranger.
I would offer you an alternative approach. Give everyone that you encounter a smile and greeting. Hold the door for anyone in proximity that approaches. If the opportunity arrives from that greeting to engage in conversation, all the better. Share how God has put it on your heart to try and find some way to bless others in the course of your day.
A simple daily prayer: God thank you for all the blessings that You pour out to me every day. Please help me be a blessing to all others today. AMEN
ALWAYS, acknowledge God’s blessings, no matter how small. Acknowledging blessings postures us to receive more.
You are a blessing to me and I appreciate you – everyone.
Let us pray