“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:15-21
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:5-6
What is wisdom?
It is mind-boggling to think that another year has flown by and another is soon taking off. As we enter yet another season of creating resolutions and setting goals for the fast approaching year, I decided to Google the top resolutions for 2016.
The TOP FIVE include the following: lose weight; get organized; spend less, save more; enjoy life to the fullest; and stay fit and healthy.
While these resolutions are helpful and definitely beneficial to your overall health and living, I wish that we would think deeper about what changes need to be made in our lives. How can we reach out to others? How do we share the Good News with people around us? How do we become more aware and understanding of their needs? How do we walk with wisdom?
Well, one particular thing that comes to mind is technology. Wisdom in USING it. And wisdom in NOT using it.
But before getting into the details of this challenge, what exactly is wisdom??? What are some ways we can change our habits to walk with wisdom? What does it look like? And what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom, knowing and KNOWING?
Well, according to the passages above, wisdom is a whole lot more than simply understanding truth. It is making the best use of your time, making every opportunity count. It is understanding God’s will, always giving thanks for EVERYTHING, speaking graciously and being filled with the Spirit rather than by worldly desires and pleasures. Heavenly wisdom which comes from God is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).
Whereas knowledge is the understanding of ideas and principles, wisdom is pursuing the application of knowledge and acting according to what God has determined is right and true.
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and seen a family sitting together at a table, totally immersed in their technology? As the littlest one is playing a game on the tablet or kindle, everyone else is texting or surfing online. How much they don’t even realize what they are missing! It’s everywhere. I see it in the grocery store, at sporting events and at church gatherings. The “social” media that was supposed to connect us has disconnected us from each other and the world. It has desocialized several generations from knowing and appreciating one another.
Now I am not saying at all that technology in itself is wrong, sinful, or bad. I benefit from it daily; editing my photography, covering songs, writing for blogs and contests and creating pinterest boards to plan events and photoshoots. Even this blog is online. But when does it become so consuming that we become unwise in our use of it?
Wisdom is relational, found in how we praise God, giving thanks IN everything FOR everything. It is found in how we speak to others, with grace and truth. It is found in what we fill our minds and hearts with. It is making EVERY SINGLE opportunity matter. EVERY relationship. Not only the facebook status relationships or the ones you share with your best buds. It is real life. In how we respond to EVERYONE around us. There isn’t an app for wisdom. It’s not a simple button. It is so much more.
I fear that our generation is losing its ability to connect with others. We are slowly becoming slaves to our own creation. And no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). So when it comes down to it, are we choosing to serve God or technology? We are so disconnected that we cannot accomplish the very thing we are commanded to do as followers of Jesus Christ. To go out as missionaries, within our communities, the world and even in our circles of friends and family. We are constantly looking down instead of up.
How can you raise your eyes up to Heaven when they are so trapped by a master below? How can you give thanks for anything, much less everything, when you can’t notice the beauty of a vast world moving forward above the screen of your phone?
You CAN’T. Like texting and driving, there is no way to keep your eyes ahead and down at the same time. How is one to climb a mountain only looking below their feet?
So I challenge you, starting right now, to make a choice. A choice to unplug. To disconnect from the virtual and plug into reality. To make the decision to look forward into the realities of this life we’re living. No, they won’t all be beautiful. If you were to really look deep you would notice that eyes are full of pain, hearts are full of regret and tears leave many traces on worn faces. You would notice the aching woman on the street corner, selling herself to survive; the desperate eyes of a man trying to provide for his family; and the tattered heart of a young girl whose youth and innocence have been stolen away by the greedy hold of this selfish society.
But you would also see something MAGNIFICENT. You would see a rainbow draped across a pale blue sky, a reminder of His promise. You would see a sky full of stars and a beach with countless grains of sand, a reminder of His promise. You would see the fingerprints of a savior king, Immanuel, a fulfillment of His promise. You would know a hope not found in anyone but CHRIST. And you would experience a joy and gratitude that is INCOMPREHENSIBLE. Your eyes would be free to watch for the returning King.
Set it down. Peel off your virtual screen and open up your eyes. Walk forward in wisdom, unrestrained, undistracted and unhindered. Take time to worship and praise God with thanksgiving and fill yourselves with things that are pleasing to him. Reach out and minister to the people He has brought you into contact with. I think you will find that your walk with God will become more and more beautiful as you walk in wisdom. Imagine what would happen if everybody did…
~ Devrah, Guest Author for The Heart of Teens