There are some lyrics to a popular song that resonate with me every time I listen to them. They remind me that I must be very careful how I live.  I am quite certain that their meaning is different to the writer and singer, but they still cause me to stop and ponder.

Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

         Eminem, Lose Yourself

While I am certainly not an Eminem fan, nor do I advocate listening to much of his music, I do listen to this song while I am riding the bike at the gym occasionally.   It reminds me of a simple truth that I too soon forget.

Be Very Careful, Then, How You Live

We all have one opportunity to live each moment.  Then it is gone.

In each moment, we have the choice, the opportunity to let it slip, to be darkness or to be light.   My fear is that too often I let it slip. Perhaps I am not being darkness, but perhaps I a not being light either. And then the moment slips away, as kind of a nothing.

Paul actually warns us of this in Ephesians

            “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15

Am I being very careful? I don’t know. Some days I am and some days I am WAY too caught up in myself, what I want and what others think of me. Other days I am too distracted and driven by the mundane aspects of life that in the end WILL NOT MATTER. And some days, I am driven by fears that I wish I did not have.

What would it look like for me to “be very careful how I live?” I love inspirations pieces, but I need practical application, otherwise it just goes in my head and right out with the first issue that arises.

Practical Application:

  1. Stay in my Bible: There isn’t anything more important than knowing God and then making him known. I cannot do either if I am not reading the Bible and connecting with God every day.  The world is full of foolishness and that is where I live.  If I am to combat that and seek true wisdom, I have to be in my Bible.  It is my defense and my preparation.  (See Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:10-18)

  2. Beneficial Conversations with my Friends: I love my girl friends, but honestly, we can get so caught up in talking about the blah, blah of life, like vacations, family pictures, the “right” color to paint our bathroom, our shoes, who cuts our hair, whatever, that God is left completely out. While it isn’t wrong to talk about those things, we need to be going deeper. How are you spiritually? Are you spending time in your Bible? What can you cut out to make sure you have time? What is God teaching you? Are you struggling in some area? How can I pray for you and how can I hold you accountable mainly because I need someone to hold me accountable. (See Ephesians 4:29 and 1 Thess 5:11)

  3. Be Completely Humble and Gentle: Can I be real? I fail at these way too often. Instead of looking at my own faults, I am way to quick to judge others. Though I am gentle most of the time, just yesterday, after I had put these words on paper, I was really harsh with my kids. I am pretty sure they cannot see Jesus and I cannot show them how to control their anger, when my anger is not controlled. (Ephesians 4:1-2)

  4. Making the Most of Every Opportunity: I don’t have a 20-minute conversation with the workers at our local grocery store, yet. But I certainly don’t want to pass by them without notice, as if they are merely there for my use. I go to the same grocery 2-3 times per week and see the same people there. People who have names, feelings, lives and needs. Who is speaking truth and love into their lives? Maybe no one. I don’t know.   I certainly am not yet, but I will never get that opportunity if I don’t treat them like people learning their names, looking them in the eye and inquiring, actually caring about who they are and what they may need.

There are a million other ways to “be very careful how we live.” The point is that we are pausing and taking the time to read the word of God, asking Him what it looks like for us to live as wise, not unwise.

The distractions are endless.   My to-do list doesn’t take a day off. But in the midst of all of that, there are more important opportunities, opportunities to make an eternal impact on someone’s life. May we not miss the eternal for the mundane. I have to remind myself that a clean floor is not a bad thing, but it might not be the best thing.

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