Ephesians 5:15-20

It’s Fun To Be Careful

August 19, 2018

            “Be very careful, then, how you live .. ‘ (Ephesians 5:15)

            Be careful!

            Two words I would usually hear while I was growing up any time I left the house,  whether to go to a friend’s house as a child, or on a date as a teenager, or back to college, work, or Seminary as a young adult, Mom would usually say:

Be careful!

            Growing up I didn’t appreciate these words as I should have. I thought Mom was worrying too much, or being overprotective, or trying to spoil my fun.  I can remember saying on many occasions: “How do you expect me to have any fun if I’ve got to be careful?”

            Br careful!    

            “Be very careful, then, how you live .. ‘ (Ephesians 5:15)

            That’s Paul’s instructions to the Christians in Ephesus. 

            Be careful!

            That’s Paul’s instructions to us, also. But is Paul playing the role of a worrying, overprotective parent here? Is that his reason for admonishing us to be careful?

            Surely there must be more to it than this. What does Paul mean by his admonishment to be careful? 

What Paul is saying is that, as we live our lives in the world, we have to be careful. We have to be careful in our actions because they show God to the world. We have to be careful in our words because others hear God through what we say. We have to be careful in our thoughts because they determine our actions and words. 

            We have to be careful!

            Be careful!

            As you think — be careful! Be careful that what you are thinking are thoughts God would have you be thinking. What are the ramifications of what you are thinking? What would happen if you were to act on what you are thinking? What would happen if you were to say what you were thinking? Would it show God’s love to those around you? Would others understand God’s love better because of what you said or did? As you think, let the  thoughts you have be what God would have you share with others.

Be careful!

            As you do things, be careful! Be careful of what you do, because what you do should be the things that show God to others. Before you do anything ask yourself if it is what God would have you do.  Does the action show God’s love to others? Will the action make others feel better? Will it help build up the church and encourage others – or discourage others? What you do should be showing God’s love to others. It should be helping others feel better, building up the unity of the church and encouraging others. 

            Be careful!

            As you say things, be careful! Be careful of what you say, because the words you say should be words that help others experience God in a new way.  Before you say anything ask yourself if it is what God wants you to say. Do the words show God’s love to others?

Will they help others feel better? Will they build up the church and encourage someone  or discourage them? What you say should communicate God’s love to others. Your words should be helping others feel better. You words should building up the unity of the church  and should encourage others. 

            Be careful!

            Paul goes on to say that we should live as wise and not unwise people.   What kind of wisdom is he referring to? It is the wisdom of God Paul is referring to here. Let the wisdom of God guide and direct you. Let the wisdom of God fill you. Let the wisdom of God guide and direct your thoughts, your actions, and your words. 

            What is this wisdom of God? It’s understanding God’s will. It’s experiencing God’s love. It’s sharing God’s love with the world. It’s the wisdom it takes to live our lives carefully, so our thoughts, actions, and words will show God to the world. It’s the wisdom it takes to be careful.

            But you may be thinking “If I’ve got to be careful about what I think, do and ow am I supposed to have any fun?”

            “Won’t having God’s wisdom destroy any fun I may think about having?”

            No. I have a secret to tell you today. The secret is that it’s fun to be careful!

            Paul is writing about joyously living the Christian life, joyously giving praise to God, joyously living life to the fullest as it is to be lived and getting the most joy you can out of life because you are living in the wisdom of God. 

            When you have God’s wisdom in you, you begin being more careful about what you think, what you do, or what you say. You begin to think about how you can share God’s love with the world in your words and actions and you begin to realize that the truly joyful life is the Christian life.  You begin to realize that it’s fun to be careful!      

            The life in Christ is truly a joyous, fun, Christian life.

Participation in the life of the church is one way we can begin living and enjoying the Christian life. As we learn more about God, serving God and serving others, we can have a good time – in fact the best of times. in the process.  Whether it’s gathering for worship or fellowship or study, we truly begin to know each other better and to learn more about God’s will for our lives. We also truly experience God’s love from each other as we gather in fellowship. As we participate in the life of the Church we truly began experiencing what it means to live the joyous, fun — filled Christian life God wants us to live.

            Here at Edgewood we are truly blessed to have the type of worship, Sunday School experience for adults and children, Bible Study, fellowship times, and so many other times where we can truly experience what it means to live the joyous, fun-filled Christian life God wants us to live. 

            Yea – it’s fun to be careful!

            So, what about you? Are you careful? Are you careful to show God’s love in all you think, do, and say? Are you careful that your thoughts are guided and directed by God or do you think careless, even hurtful thoughts that are not what God would have you be thinking? Are you careful that your actions show God’s love to others and that what you do is what God would have you do? Are you careful that what you do encourages instead of discourage others? Are you careful that your words show God’s love to others and will encourage instead of discourage them? Are you careful that what you do shows God’s love to others and encourages them? Or do you think things, say things and do things that are careless, that show everything but God’s love to others,  that are not what God would have you do and that will discourage instead of encourage others and that will tear down instead of build up the church?

            Are you careful about what you think, do and say or not?

Are you careful to take part in the opportunities we have to experience God’s love as we worship, learn, and fellowship together? 

It’s fun to be careful!

            Discover for yourself how much fun being guided and directed by God can be.  Discover for yourself how much fun it is to live the life of Christian commitment,  Christian fellowship, Christian worship, that is guided by the wisdom of God. 

Every day you have the opportunity to be a part of the active, fun, exciting Christian life you are called to live. You can also choose to take part in the active, excited Church we have here at Edgewood and help make it more active, more fun, and more exciting.Let the joy of Christ come into your heart.

            You can’t live the life of careful thoughts, actions, and words all the time, but God can strengthen you, .

You can pray for the life of careful thoughts, words, and actions. You can pray for the life that is guided by God’s wisdom. You can pray for the life that is filled with God’s joy. You can pray for the life that discovers that joy of Christian worship, fellowship, learning and service in the world.

            Pray that you will discover how much fun it is to be careful! Amen