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Live Wisely

Live Wisely

18 June 2011

Reading: 1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 11-19; Colossians 4

Scripture:

5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6 NLT)

I read through the book of Proverbs each month, a chapter a day. Proverbs is primarily focused on the instruction “Live wisely,” and it’s mostly about living so that life is made richer by the positive consequences of our decisions and behavior. This Colossians “Live wisely” is just a little different. This has to do with how we live among the people of our community who are not Christ-followers.

Jean and I moved into a different home in a different neighborhood a few months ago. Our neighbors in the nearest five or six houses to us are not regular church-attenders. In our culture, being a non-church-attender pretty much equates to being a non-believer in Christ. So you could say we live among those who are not believers.

I don’t live badly in my neighborhood, on my street, among my non-Christian neighbors. I don’t let my lawn go to weeds and dandelions, I don’t host wild, loud, late-night parties, I don’t let my dog run loose or mess on my neighbors’ lawn.

My problem is my remote garage door opener. My problem is in making the most of every opportunity. I come home and drive the car into the garage and go in the house many times without any interaction with neighbors who are in their yards. I’m afraid that much of the time I’m a good neighbor only in the sense that I’m not a bad neighbor, but not in the sense that I’m helping in any positive, practical way.

Now that warmer weather is here and we’re all outside more, there will be more opportunities for good-neighborliness. So I’ve been walking across the street to talk with my neighbor Dick. I’ve gone next door to speak with my neighbor John. The conversation has begun. Now it’s up to me to take the next right step.

Prayer:

Father, This is a good word for me today. It’s timely and specific and actionable. Please help me take the time to think it through to the point of action. I want to be a good neighbor, not merely not a bad neighbor. Help me to make the best use of every opportunity to keep the conversation going. Amen.

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