My nature, our nature, and being wise.
“Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” –Paul (Ephesians 5:15-16)
The study and the application of Ephesians 5 is something that no Christian should take lightly, but at the heart of the matter you need to realize how far it stretches to the core of each person. Here is what we know about human nature, we all are prone to evil. Our human nature loves to do things that are evil (Matthew 15:19). Our very nature is full of selfishness and conceit. Most of the time we mask it but a lot of what we do is to pleasure ourselves. That’s the curse. Our nature or sometimes referred to as our flesh and our flesh wars against our spirit. I am not an exception. There are many times where I just love to not do the right thing. Not the illegal thing, just not the right thing, things such as putting my focus upon possessions, having lustful thoughts. The verse here explains our war against our own desires. Paul tells us to “Be very careful,” to how we live. Our very actions can cause us to slide back to our old nature. Paul’s suggestion here in Ephesians 5 is to kick evil to the curve. Extract it out of life. But the way to do that is to live a life that is wise. Solomon in Proverbs says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Therefore to be wise, we must be wholeheartedly pursing Christ with all of our hearts. Here also though Paul explains that we must make the most of every opportunity. One commentary said that this is phrase literally means “buying the opportunity”, which is a merchant term where they can maximize their sales and trade. So we as Christians are called to make most of our time to do good because as Paul explains the days are evil that lies ahead of us. It maybe not necessarily that the days are wicked, but the days where there is trouble ahead. So in summary our nature begs us to do evil but we must be wiser so that we can take every minute of over lives as a dedication to Christ.
As a follower of Christ, this verse just rips into my soul. The very nature of what it requires us to do is to fight against what we so easily love to do. I look at this and it just makes me realize that I desperately need Jesus. I’m not going to lie, I am a selfish individual. I love to do things for me. I want to live a life of comfort, excess, ease, and extravagance. But I know that none of that compares with the life that God desires for my life. Time is short and the ultimate question that I should be wrestling with everyday should be, “Am I being wise or unwise?” Am I maxing out my life for the desires of Christ? Oh I hope to be. I want that. I really want that.
Lord my nature pulls me away from you, help me to be wise.