So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. - Ephesians 5:15-16 (NLT)
One thing I loved about my mother growing up was how she demonstrated living a life of positivity. Even when curveballs came her way, she did a smashing job of “finding a silver lining,” even when my brother and I were adamant there weren’t any! My mother modeled some key character traits for her boys – love, joy, sensitivity, and optimism. Rarely did she lose sight of the potential for God’s redeeming and restoring hand to do its work.
The apostle Paul made a particularly pointed exhortation to some of his closest friends in Ephesus. These were men and women he called himself a “co-laborer” with, having lived 2 years with them. Paul encourages these friends toward wise-living. Allow me to point out four clear distinctions in the passage:
1. Be careful how you live. People watch our lives more than they listen to our words. Aim to live a life that preaches. Recall the words of Francis of Assissi – “Preach the gospel always. Use words when necessary.” We should always be mindful of our environment and make the appropriate adjustments
2. Live as one who is wise. Foolishness destroys credibility. Be ever-seeking of God’s wisdom for daily living. Invite the Holy Spirit every day to guide you in the ways of truth and life everlasting. Encourage Him to convict you when you’re about to make a poor decision.
3. Make the most of ever opportunity. Notice in the Bible that God rarely kept hardships from coming to his people. But notice also how He loves to take situations that seem impossible and turn them around for good. Make the most with every situation, every encounter, every opportunity. And keep an eye out for God’s redeeming work.
4. Do good in these evil days. The brightness of God’s light only gets brighter the darker the days become. Don’t quit the good work God has given you especially when it feels like it’s to no avail. It avails.
Question of the Day:
In times of hardship, how can I learn to make the most of the opportunity?