5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Christians are instructed here concerning their conduct “toward them that are without” the church. Relating to people outside the household of faith poses peculiar challenges to the Christians. Unbelieving family members, colleagues at work, fellow students, neighbours and other associates – all have principles or philosophies of life and conduct that are contrary to the biblical counsels that God has given for believers to live by. Many things that are lawful in this world are unlawful according to God’s Word. For example, while there exist legalised gambling and prostitution in our societies, Scripture prohibits them completely. While many think that participating in different religious worship ceremonies / activities is good, such conduct is condemned in the Bible as abomination. Christians cannot join those who practise things that are prohibited in the Bible.
So, Christians are admonished to “walk in wisdom toward them that are without”. Our lives must be guided by the highest wisdom of God’s Word. God has said in Deuteronomy 4:6, “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” In the same manner, Psalm 111:10 instructs His people, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” By living wisely according to His Word, we seek not the honour and praise that cometh from man, but from God (cf. John 5:44; 12:43). The praiseworthy conduct of a Christian is that he walks in the wisdom of God’s Word.
In Romans 16:19, the apostle Paul commended the Roman Christians who walked in obedience to God’s Word as wise. He said, “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” Christians’ conduct must always be a testimony to the righteousness and goodness of their Lord and His counsels.
We also should not give opportunity to the unbelieving to malign our faith because of our unwise conduct. But we must “buy up” (“redeem”) every opportunity to bear a good testimony for the Lord. Let us not just wait for opportunity to fall into our lap. Let us arise and shine for Christ!