Living as light in any culture entails having an acute understanding of spiritual wisdom.

This section is the climax of Ephesians 4-6. We have just talked about black-and-white areas that a Christian, as Light, clearly avoids. Now we focus on Light’s desire to make wise choices in “gray” areas.

Traditions (verse 15)

Our passage starts off with a simple command: “Be careful how you walk.” Other translations urge us to “walk circumspectly.” This means to walk carefully and cautiously, watching each step of your feet and not just your destination. Walking cautiously is especially important in our immorally-saturated culture.

Light should never be associated with immorality or impurity, even virtually. Because our culture is so saturated in these things, this requires constant analysis of our habits and what we allow as input in our lives. Living with discernment requires taking time and pacing yourself.

Time (verse 16)

Our idle time is when we are most prone to temptation – but discretionary time also has great potential for reaping spiritual dividends. This verse’s command literally tells us to “buy up” our time, to use it purposefully in pursuit of spiritual benefit to yourself and others. The simple truth is that we don’t get to do what we want unless God agrees with it.

Truth (verse 17)

Knowing God’s will is a simple matter of knowing God’s Word. The Bible is completely sufficient to guide us in wise living and help us make choices in “gray” areas. A foolish or senseless Christian does not know his or her Scriptures.

Application Points

  • Light should have no association with darkness or impurity. What are you associated with? Do you need to clean out your social media profiles? Is there a habit you need to be rid of? Take the time to pull these things out by the roots this week.

  • How do you use your discretionary time? What do you do when it’s “me” time? How can you use your time more wisely, sowing to reap spiritual benefits? If you need an idea, try reading a good spiritual book, or spending some time discipling your family or others.

  • You will never be able to live wisely if you don’t know your Scriptures. Don’t be foolish: saturate your heart in God’s Word! How are you doing that already? How can you know your Bible more?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Proverbs 14:9 – Sin also makes a fool of a mocker.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV) – Our job is to glorify God with every part of ourselves.
  • Psalm 19:7 – Scripture is the source of wisdom for the naive.
  • Proverbs 1:7, 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is developed by the Word and leads to wisdom.
  • James 1:25, John 17:17 – Know the truth of Scripture to apply wisdom to your life.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Free from Guilt and Free from Sin”

Dark, the stain I cannot hide;
Stain of sin, my guilt to prove.
Guilt my own, and foolish pride;
Pride, the reason for my sin.

Light of God came shining down;
Son of God, my soul to win,
Laid aside His heavenly crown,
Paid the price for all my sin;
Paid the price for all my sin.

Wash me in the Savior’s blood;
Make me pure, without, within;
Cleanse my heart and set me free,
Free from guilt and free from sin,
Free from guilt and free from sin.

Love of God that lights my way;
Love displayed on Calvary;
Lamb of God my soul to save
Gave His life to set me free!

Gone, the darkness, come the Light:
Gone, the night, the day begins.
Gone, the wrong, my soul made right,
Free from guilt and free from sin;
Free from guilt and free from sin!