What does the ‘careful living’ described in Ephesians 5.15-17 look like?
Is it an overly cautious, tentative kind of life? Does being careful feel like trying to negotiate a tightrope, always afraid to put a foot wrong?
I don’t think so.
I think that living carefully looks like freedom.
There is a passage in Matthew where Jesus describes this.
‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’ Matthew 11.28-30 The Message
So it is closeness to God that needs our carefulness.
And closeness with our Father always brings freedom.
It is that freedom that Adam and Eve forfeited when they listened to the serpent. He whispered to them that sonship was slavery. When they believed it they took their first steps of independence away from God.
And those independent steps walked them right out of Eden’s rest.
Jesus says when we walk with Him, our steps are free and light. There is no tightrope, only grace upon grace.
But don’t think for a minute that these joyful, carefree steps aren’t risky.
Jesus-following steps are bold steps. They are walking-on-water steps. They are get-out-of-the boat steps. They are steps that trample right over darkness to bring in the light.
Because a life that keeps company with God will always become a life of dangerous obedience. When we walk with Him, we become like Him.
This kind of carefulness changes the world.