Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 14, 2018
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
Our behavior may not be technically wrong, and we may justify it by saying, “I was just kidding, or playing around”, but are we just trying to justify our inappropriate behavior? Our sarcastic remarks may seem innocent and laughed off by the one on the receiving end, but were our demeaning words appropriate? Not at all. Our attempt at humor at the expense of disrespecting a colleague, a woman or a different culture is always out of line. As followers of Christ we embrace the idea that everyone deserves to be loved and respected as God’s precious creation.
Paul is very clear on how to live as Jesus lovers: careful, wise and opportunistic because the days are evil. Careful to care for others above our own interests and agenda, so we are not using a relationship for a desired outcome. Rather, we look for ways to help another be successful in life not expecting anything in return. Furthermore, we are wise to be circumspect in our attitude and actions, so we believe the best in others. We look for ways to make them better as human beings, always praying for opportunities to further our heavenly Father’s agenda to love people to Jesus.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Are your actions with the opposite sex appropriate? By appropriate I mean, would your spouse approve of your behavior? Be careful, be wise, be discreet about inappropriately confiding in someone about marital issues that would cause you to grow emotionally engaged with another. What may seem like an innocent sharing of sensitive information with someone who cares, can easily compound the problem of emotional estrangement from your spouse. Appropriate actions move you closer to Christ and more intimate with those with whom you have life long commitments.
What about your money management habits? Are you cautious and wise to live within your budget and are you precise in your expense reporting at work? Avoid bad money decisions by following a wise plan and by asking others to hold you accountable to your plan. Stay faithful and generous with a little cash, so the Lord can trust you with more. Appropriate actions flow from love for God and love for people. A life motivated by love wants what’s best for another.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Heavenly Father, lead me by Your Spirit to be wise in my choices, so I respect and serve all people in an appropriate fashion, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What relationship do I need to change to a more appropriate approach with relational boundaries?
A life motivated by love wants what’s best for another. #WisdomHunters #appropriate
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