Best of Daily Reflections: What Helps You Pay Attention to How You’re Living? Part 5Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Today is the final part of this mini-series responding to the question: What helps you pay attention to how you’re living? So far, I’ve suggested that the following can help us see our lives more clearly: “watching how we walk” throughout the day; a daily discipline of prayerful examination of our lives; retreats; and art. Now, I’d like to turn back to the text of Ephesians 5:15, which reads: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise.”
Wisdom will help you pay attention to how you’re living. Wisdom is not just knowledge, but rather a deeper understanding, knowledge permeated by good judgment. Wisdom is the ability to see what’s right, what’s important, what’s beneficial, what’s best.
Wisdom comes from various sources. We can gain wisdom from experiencing life, especially if we reflect on what happens. We can learn wisdom from others, those with whom we live life as well as those who share their wisdom in writing and art. We gather wisdom by being part of a community of thought and practice, a place where we learn together and pass along the wisdom of the ages.
Above all, wisdom comes from God. According to Ephesians 1:8, God has made known his will to us “with all wisdom and understanding.” God gives to us “the Spirit of wisdom” (Eph. 1:17), who helps us know God and ourselves better. God’s wisdom fills the pages of Scripture, including but not only the Old Testament book of Proverbs, in which wisdom plays a starring role.
Most pointedly, God’s wisdom is communicated through Jesus Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Christ is, indeed, “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). If we want wisdom, then we turn to Christ, putting our faith in him, allowing him to guide us, teach us, and fill us with his Spirit.
What helps us pay attention to how we’re living? Perhaps a better question might be: Who helps us pay attention to how we’re living? The answer is: Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God. His life, his teaching, his death and resurrection, all of these give us wisdom to see how we’re living. Moreover, as the living Christ dwells with us, we receive divine wisdom from his Spirit. The One who made us, who redeemed us, who has great plans for us, and who knows us utterly, this One will help us pay attention to how we’re living so that we might live more fully, joyfully, and significantly.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Who in your life would you consider to be truly wise? What helps you to be wise? Can you think of times when the Lord has given you wisdom? What allows you to be open to God’s gift of wisdom?
PRAYER: Gracious God, you are indeed wisdom, true wisdom, ultimate wisdom, pure wisdom. You alone know fully what is right and true. You alone know what is always best.
Thank you, O God, for the gift of wisdom. Thank you for making your wisdom known to us in so many different ways, most of all through Jesus Christ. Help me, I pray, to be wise in Christ so that I might pay close attention to how I am living. May Christ give me the wisdom to live faithfully and fruitfully.
All praise be to you, O God, for you are Wisdom, indeed! Amen.
The Power of Storytelling
A note from our managing editor: When my children were young, telling stories at bedtime was always one the best parts of our day. I usually read stories straight from a book. But, my husband made up stories to tell the children and those stories continue to show up in conversations, even now that our children are adults. Stories are powerful, and we may tend to forget that as we grow up and move on into board rooms and classrooms and carpool lanes.
What can a story provide in a board meeting that facts and figures alone can't accomplish? How has storytelling improved relationships among coworkers, especially coworkers whose faith is different from mine? What are some of the best stories ever told in the workplace, and why did it make a difference? Why is it important to be able to tell a good story and what is a good story anyway? In the series at The High Calling, we take a look at The Power of Storytelling in the workplace. Pull up a chair and join us in the conversation.