Read Ephesians 5:1-22
“Watch your step!”
We use that instruction as people walk on ice, make their way across a cluttered floor, or navigate difficult terrain. It is an admonition to carefully consider the placement of each foot. With that statement, we seek to ensure the safety of the one moving through a potentially treacherous area.
Paul uses similar words of warning in Ephesians 5:15. The New International Version (NIV) translates it: “Be very careful, then, how you live…” Meanwhile, the New American Standard (NAS) says, “…be careful how you walk…” In fact, that is the third time in this chapter that the NAS translates the Greek word “peripateo” as “walk.” It is third time that the apostle Paul specifically addresses the idea of our conduct, the way that we live our lives.
“…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you…” (v. 2)
“…walk as children of Light…” (v. 8)
“…be careful how you walk…” (v. 15)
There is a connection, you see, between the invisible faith we claim and our visible conduct and the steps we take through life. As a person who lives out the faith you claim, you are to be loving (v. 2), pure, and generous (v. 3). Your conversation should be holy and filled with thanksgiving (v. 4). Your God-pleasing life is to stand in stark contrast to others who do evil (vv. 7-14). You are to carefully weigh the use of your time and opportunities in light of God’s will. Your life should be characterized by the control you allow the Spirit of God to have over it rather than subjecting it to other influences (vv. 15-17).
Where will your steps take you today? Be careful. Your path will be littered with temptations that will lure you down rabbit trails contrary to the will of God. Along the way today, there will be circumstances and old patterns of behavior that will call out to you to compromise or to shortcut the way that God would have you to go.
Watch your step!