Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)
Are you being very careful how you live? I’m sure that I’m making mistakes and that I could be much more careful. Yes, you are and yes, you can. What kind of mistakes am I making? You tell me. I’m sure that you are aware of some of your mistakes, right now. Yes, I am. Let’s talk about them.
I’m making the mistake of losing perspective. I forget what is most important and of ultimate value. Can you give me an example? Yes, I can. Sometimes I live with an earthly rather than heavenly perspective. An earthly, “this is all there is” perspective measures everything with today’s value. With this perspective, how I am treated, matters a great deal to me. If I’m wronged in some way, I’m likely to react negatively. Setting the record straight or seeking justice for myself becomes a primary concern to me. I’m sure that some of my reactions relate to my expectations. What are you expecting? I’m expecting that I will be treated with kindness, honor and respect. Does that seem like a realistic expectation to you? No, not really. Why not? This world is broken and corrupted by sin. Yes, it is. People don’t think and speak and act as they should. No, they do not.
What kind of perspective do you want to have? I want to have an eternal perspective. I want to be aware of the fact, that I am living in a broken world that is corrupted by sin. What will you do differently with that perspective in mind? I won’t expect to be treated with kindness, honor, and respect, that’s for sure. So, I won’t get all bent out of shape when I experience mistreatment. What will you do instead? I will look for every opportunity to do good and be a witness for you in this world, even when I’m being mistreated. Why will you do that? This world and this life is passing away. Life on earth is very temporary. I want my life to be used by you. I want to be a witness for you in this world. I want to bear fruit for you, that will last for all eternity. How will you do that? I will do good, even in response to evil. Doing good in the face of evil will stand out. It will get noticed. People will wonder why someone would respond to evil by doing good. They will ask questions. Yes, they will. What will you tell them? I will tell them about you. I will tell them that I am simply following the example that you have placed before me. They will see that I am loving like you loved. They will see that I am giving like you gave. They will see that I am living like you lived. They will see that you have given me a completely new life to live. They will want the same kind of new life that you have given to me. They will be drawn to you. They will want to live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, they will because they will see that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to love others with my love. They will see that you are both knowing and doing my will. That will be very good.
Lord, help me to make the most of every opportunity to serve you in this world. I want to live my life as your witness in the world. Help me to love like you loved, give like you gave and live like you lived. Use me to bear fruit for your kingdom and glory. Amen
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