Hidden Nuggets Series #49 – “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15
So my thoughts have been perked this past week as the news outlets have reported the gruesome scene at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. 298 people were gone in an instant, their bodies littered with the airplane debris over the Ukrainian countryside. Their families will be impacted forever, perhaps never finding resolution.
Like you, I’ve flown countless times. The tranquility of cruising at 30,000 ft. sets the mind at ease. We can find relaxing peace there, sipping our drinks and gazing out the window. The sun shines brightly on the clouds below, magnifying the beauty of God’s creation.
To be in that moment and have it be your last is more than I can bear to dwell on. I can’t imagine what those last seconds were like as the surface-to-air missile struck the plane.
Outside of the TV series 24, who does this? It’s shocking. It’s inhuman.
Except that it’s not inhuman because it was accomplished by at least one human. Which brings me back to a sobering conclusion that I’ve known all my life – the world can be a very evil place.
Evil exists in our world
This cannot be denied – evil exists in our world. Right along side with the good, evil manifests itself in countless ways each day. It’s inescapable. It would be foolish to consider that we’d never experienced it in some form or fashion during our lifetime.
The evil presence in our world isn’t a new phenomenon. Evil has existed since those fateful moments in the Garden of Eden when mankind pursued its own will instead of God’s. It’s woven itself throughout history, manifesting itself at times in gruesome ways that leave us with more questions than answers and continually worried about what might be around the next corner.
That’s no way to live though, being so locked down by the fear of evil that we let it alter our daily routines. I’m not going to do that.
Instead, I’ll take my cue from the Apostle Paul who lived through one of the most evil eras (at least for followers of Jesus Christ) the world has ever known. If the believers of his day could face being thrown to the lions in the Roman Coliseum – just for sport – then I can face anything the world throws at me today.
How to live in the face of evil
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:15, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
From this verse, I find three basic instructions for living day by day in a world system capable of great evils.
I am to walk circumspectly. Translation…be watchful, guarded and attentive. Our personal defenses need to be on alert to call out evil when we see it. It’s not going away so it’s imperative we maintain the vigilance to watch for it.
I am to walk wisely. Evil sucks in the foolish. I don’t want to create a vulnerability to evil because my actions are not marked by prudence and common sense.
I am to walk purposefully. Have some determination. Be resolute. Create a single-minded path to drive each day’s existence to create meaning and value in people’s lives. For as I’ve said before our days are limited and can be changed or end in an instant.
Continue giving to the fight
In 1983, a Korean commercial airliner was shot down by the Russians over the Kamchatka Peninsula. Then U.S. President Ronald Reagan offered this outline for what must be done. His remarks targeted the American people to action but apply to anyone seeking to stand against evil in this world. He said:
“We know it will be hard to make a nation [Russia] that rules its own people through force to cease using force against the rest of the world. But we must try. This is not a role we sought. We preach no Manifest Destiny, but like Americans who began this country and brought forth this last best hope of mankind, history has asked much of the Americans of our own time. Much we have already given. Much more we must be prepared to give.”
Then, like now, we cannot turn a blind eye. There can be no pretending evil is irrelevant. It’s not the business of someone else to deal with.
It affects us all. We must be ready to give more attention to it. We must continue to fight.
Please take a moment to remember all the families affected by this tragedy. Pray that God’s grace and comfort be with them at this most difficult time.
How do you stay vigilant in a world filled with evil?
Next Post: Confessing A Real Stupid Money Mistake