Wisdom in Evil Days
Wisdom comes hard. Wisdom must be learned. It often comes through learning from mistakes and the brokenhearted results of sin. But best is when it’s learned from God’s word and then put into practice in purposeful living.
So Paul tells us to “look carefully then how you walk.” The Christian does not live his life in a haphazard way—saying this and then answering like that, doing this and then acting like that. No. The Christian lives his life carefully. He understands that what he says matters, that what he does matters, that what he thinks matters. And because of this, he must make the “best use of the time.” The King James Version has, “Redeeming the time,” which might be a better translation. This goes well with the Psalmist who teaches us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). Time is precious and not to be wasted in levity. The Christian may enjoy the things of this world, and should certainly be cheerful, but seriousness never leaves him. He hates flippancy and cynicism. The Christian life is a matter of spiritual life and death; souls are at stake and the witness of the Church must be preserved with integrity. In short, the Christian life is a life of godly honor.
To live a life of wisdom means to know the will of God. We have previously spoken of this with the help of Romans 12:1-2: living as sacrifices, shunning the world for being transformed by a renewed mind in the Spirit. A thorough knowledge of the word that is then lived in obedience, for no progress in wisdom will ever come without living in daily obedience to the Lord. Paul’s exhortation to address one another with psalms and hymns, singing and making melody in our own hearts, always giving thanks to God—all of this requires a constant meditation on God and His word, bringing every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Finally, Paul tells us that a part of wisdom is “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Christians must submit to the authorities in this world as everyone else, but here Paul is speaking of the church. Wisdom builds its house on God’s word, putting Him first and self last. In between are others who need to see us placing all on the altar for God. Wisdom ultimately teaches me that it’s not about me, but that I am to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Wisdom has built her house; it is for us to learn of her (Proverbs 9:1).