See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Ephesians 5:15
Sometimes, in the desperate attempt to make sense of the senseless, we hitch our wagons to some really destructive ideas. In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, the very best and worst of human nature are exposed. We want to fix things, but we also want to place blame.
I heard some talking head politician flippantly say the following yesterday:
“We need to love ourselves more. And we need our lawmakers to take action.”
Not sure what the two have to do with one another, but this must have sounded helpful in her head. We are taught something else entirely: love God first, and love others as (we already) love ourselves.
When we become our supreme love instead of God, love becomes distorted and diseased. Love ends up devolving into whatever we wish for it to mean. Everyone loves in the way that is right in his own eyes. Which of course means that everyone hates in the way that is right in his own eyes. They become supreme “lovers of self” (2 Timothy 3:2). We live in an anarchy of love resulting in much of the horrifying things we hear in the news.Jon Bloom
But we love the hollow cries to just love love and do more. The tragic predictability of it all is wearing thin. What can we well-meaning but feeble humans actually do? If God isn’t our source, our foundation, our first love, the answer is absolutely nothing. How I wish we could legislate evil right out of our midst. I can’t help but think of the Old Testament laws and covenants, how they were perfect, but never led to any freedom. The issues go deep, deeper than a traumatic childhood, a failed relationship or a desensitized mind. We are born with sin in our veins, and when we reject the redeeming work of Christ on the cross, that sin can’t help but manifest itself in all kinds of horrible ways.
It was in Paradise that man fell.Martin Lloyd-Jones
So today, I just want to hear God. There is only one response to sin and evil, and it’s Jesus. We have plunged far into the depths of depravity, no doubt. When Paul urges us to “walk circumspectly”, it actually is a call to do something. But we can’t act as the fools act, and we certainly aren’t wise on our own. It’s Christ who makes us so. To redeem the time is to put everything back in it’s proper order, God first, above all else. Not in a lofty way, but in every practical way we live. We choose Him, we listen to Him and we obey Him. We don’t keep on wasting our time on things that don’t matter.
We don’t have all the answers, but we know the One who does. And just so we are clear:
For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.Psalm 5:4-6
Evil may have dominion over this world, but it does not get to control us. We can’t brainstorm our way out of depravity. Make new laws, melt down all the weapons, elect someone new… the human heart will remain deceitful as always.
Jesus is it. He is the solution. Point people to Him, one heart at a time.