September 19, 2019 • Life for Leaders
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Today’s devotion is the last one in a small series that has been focusing on how we might examine our lives carefully. So far, I’ve suggested that we might do this 1) by stopping; 2) without our tech; 3) each day; 4) on a retreat; 5) through art; 6) through relationships; and 7) with Scripture. Today, I’d like to think with you about how we might examine our lives wisely.
Ephesians 5:15 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise.” What does it mean to examine our lives as wise people?
Wisdom will help you to see accurately how you’re living. Wisdom is not mere knowledge. Rather, it is deeper understanding, knowledge permeated by good judgment, knowledge shaped by experience. Wisdom is the ability to see what’s right, what’s important, what’s beneficial, what’s best.
Wisdom comes from various sources. We can gain wisdom from experiencing life, especially if we reflect on what happens. We can learn wisdom from others, those with whom we live life as well as those who share their wisdom in writing or art. We gather wisdom by being part of a community of thought and practice, a place where we learn together and pass along the wisdom of the ages.
Above all, wisdom comes from God. According to Ephesians 1:7-8, God has made known his will to us “with all wisdom and understanding.” God gives to us “the Spirit of wisdom” (Ephesians 1:17), who helps us know God and ourselves better. God’s wisdom fills the pages of Scripture, including (but not limited to) the Old Testament book of Proverbs, in which Wisdom plays a starring role.
Most pointedly, God’s wisdom is communicated through Jesus Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Christ is, indeed, “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). If we want wisdom, then we turn to Christ, putting our faith in him, allowing him to guide us, teach us, and fill us with his Spirit.
What helps us examine our lives carefully and wisely? Perhaps a better question might be: Who helps us think wisely about how we’re living? The answer is: Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God in human form. Christ’s life, works, teachings, death, and resurrection give us wisdom to reflect on how we’re living. Moreover, as the living Christ dwells with us through the Spirit, we receive divine wisdom. The One who made us, who redeemed us, who has great plans for us, and who knows us utterly will help us think carefully and wisely about how we’re living so that we might also live fully, joyfully, and significantly.
Something to Think About:
Who in your life would you consider to be truly wise? Why?
What helps you to be wise?
Can you think of times when the Lord has given you wisdom?
What help you to be open to God’s gift of wisdom?
Something to Do:
Talk with a friend or with your small group about wisdom, what it is, who has it, how to grow in it. Together, ask the Lord to give you more of his wisdom about how you’re living.
Gracious God, you are indeed wisdom, true wisdom, ultimate wisdom, pure wisdom. You alone know fully what is right and true. You alone know what is always best.
Thank you, O God, for the gift of wisdom. Thank you for making your wisdom known to us in so many different ways, most of all in Jesus Christ. Help me, I pray, to be wise in him so that I might examine carefully how I am living. May Christ give me the wisdom to live faithfully and fruitfully.
All praise be to you, O God, for you are Wisdom, indeed! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online
Lady Wisdom in Street Clothes (Proverbs 31)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.