by Mike Ratliff
Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. (Proverbs 15:21 ESV)
I have never been to Seminary. My degree is in Business Management and all of my College education and training since has been in Information Management. I work as a Database Administrator for a fairly large hospital group. I’ve been in one form or another of this type of work since 1973 so I’ve been at it quite some time. I’ve seen a lot of change. I’ve also been through many jobs and have had jobs just go away as companies merge with other companies or get bought out by others. The company I work for now is in the process of merging with a company of about equal size. I am still about six or seven years from retirement age and am one of the senior people at our office. Today we learned some of the goals for the merger is to get I.T. costs in line with other companies our size (after the merger). They will accomplish this via attrition, severance packages, outsourcing, et cetera over the next two to four years.
They have hired a manager that is in between me and the manager who hired me 9 years ago who is also my friend. This new guy knows nothing about database management. He knows nothing about how DBAs do their jobs in an integrated way with with system analysts and the rest of the company. It is all I can do some days to keep from walking into his office and telling him to just shut up and mind his own business when he says something stupid about how I work with other people in our group or with other managers. It is on days like that, days like today when it just seems like life is unraveling all around me and there just doesn’t seem to be any point in even trying to do a good job for this company who wants me to put in another 16 hour day yet question my value to their future. It is then that I must turn to my redeemer and get the right perspective. I know that the world’s answer would be to respond totally in the flesh, but that is not the way of the Christian who is walking Circumspectly is it?
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 ESV)
Βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖτε, μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς σοφοί, ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν αιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσι. διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ συνιέντες τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ υρίου. καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν Πνεύματι, λαλοῦντες ἑαυτοῖς ψαλμοῖς καὶ ὕμνοις καὶ ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς, ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, εὐχαριστοῦντες πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρί. ῾Υποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ. (Ephesians 5:15-21 GNT)
See then how circumspectly you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days evil are. Through this not become unthinking, but understand what the will of the Lord. And not be drunk in wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled in spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and songs spiritual, singing and psalming in the heart of you to the Lord, giving thanks always on behalf of all in the name of the Lord of us Jesus Christ to the God and father. Being subject to one another in fear of Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-21 a word-for-word translation from Koine Greek to English)
This “walking,” this περιπατεῖτε is the present, indicative, active form of the verb περιπατέω, which, in this context, is speaking of ‘walking concerning something.’ It is describing a certain way in which a Christian walks through each day. It has to do with relationships and how he or she responds and reacts both outwardly and inwardly to all of life’s circumstances. Paul tells us to do this ἀκριβῶς or akribōs. I translated this as “circumspectly” and the ESV as “carefully.” The idea is to walk through this life looking all around, being on the lookout. The word ἀκριβῶς can also be translated as “accurate, which speaks of precision, diligence, accuracy, and exactness. Those are very important things in how I do my job as a DBA, but in our walk as Christians it also applies in our diligence to hold to the things of the Lord. Think of those preachers of God’s Word who hold firm and never waiver. They are diligent. Now think of those who do the very opposite as they waiver all over the place desperately seeking to be culturally relevant.
According to this passage, we are to examine ourselves, and investigate our walk with utmost care. I pray for wisdom and discernment as much as possible. To be wise is to walk watchfully, looking at and carefully examining everything with which we come in contact. As far as discernment goes, it is also something that we must diligently pray for and practice. As we walk circumspectly to investigate and examine everything we are being discerning. When we walk this way, we will know what the will of the Lord is and obey it. We will be pilots who know the way. We will know where we are going and why. We will know what we believe and why we believe it. On the other hand, those who do not walk circumspectly are like the pilot who does not know what port he is heading for. To him, no wind is the right wind. Isn’t that what the post-modern mindset says that there are no absolutes? We must walk circumspectly irregardless of what the world thinks or does.
Soli Deo Gloria!