Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5: 17


It seems to me that foolishness is something that people fear more when we are young than when we have attained maturity in years. Most youth try hard to conform to the standards of behavior within their group of friends and acquaintances in order to avoid those foolish moments when they say or do something that draws all eyes onto their frailty. As we go through life the consequences for acting in foolish ways get much greater, but our aversion to these forms of thinking and acting seems to diminish greatly. I think that this might be the result of the way that our egos and our sense of self-determination develop over time.


The Apostle Paul is stating his best understanding of God’s view on how to live as a fully committed and totally engaged follower of Christ. Paul not only knows what that means in personal terms, but he also appreciates the change that takes place at the core of a person’s heart, mind, and soul when this commitment is made. Paul has been transformed into the new man that Christ desires to create in each of us. This new person knows the difference between foolishness and wise living. As Christ dwells within him, he is granted the gift of God’s eternal perspective on life today, and he is provided with guidance in the choices and decisions that he needs to make on a continual basis.


You see, the foolishness of our later years can lead to consequences that are far worse than embarrassment. The foolish thoughts and their resultant actions that come about when we set aside God’s view of righteousness and truth can lead to death. Even if the body is not harmed as a result of what is done in defiance of God, anytime we move away from the Lord, we step away from life and into the death of sin. However, this is exactly Paul’s point. In Christ we do not need to live in this manner any longer. In Christ we are made new. Through Christ we also enter into the grace of forgiveness and the gift of purpose for the remaining days of this life. So, in Christ’s purpose for our lives, we find wisdom, direction, and enter into the fullness of life.