15”Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16 (ESV)
The verb walk (περιπατέω; peripateo) occurs for the fifth time in the application portion of Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1, 17; 5:1, 9, 15). As before, it is a present, active verb. It refers to behavior that believers in Christ are to actively possess as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit (Phil. 2:12-13).
Believers are not only to behave in a godly manner, but also to do so carefully (ἀκριβῶς; akribos). This means to behave in an exact, careful, and strict manner. The word implies great care and adequateness (Matt. 2:8; Luke 1:3; Acts 18:25, 26; 23:15, 20; 24:22; Eph. 5:15; 1Thess. 5:2+).
The Christian’s behavior is to be exemplary. Believers in Christ are to have a manner of living evidencing a mind, emotions and a will that is saturated with, and by, the Word of God (Psalm 1; 19; 119). This requires discipline, desire and determination. There are no shortcuts.
When a believer in Christ resolves to live carefully before God and others, they demonstrate that they are truly wise. Wise (σοφός; sophos) means to be prudent, understanding and skillful in discernment. To be wise is to be distinguished from being intelligent.
An individual may be really smart, but lack godly wisdom. I’ve known people who were highly intelligent but lacked wisdom. I’ve also known others who were very wise, but did not impress people as being particularly smart. I would rather be part of the latter group than the former.
The godly wise individual makes the best use of the time (ἐξαγοράζω; exagorazo) they have from God. The phrase refers to making good use of the opportunities one has at their disposal.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The Greek word for “time” denotes a fixed, measured, allocated season. We are to make the most of our time on this evil earth in fulfilling God’s purposes, lining up every opportunity for useful worship and service. See 1 Pet. 1:17. Be aware of the brevity of life (Ps. 39:4–5; 89:46–47; James 4:14, 17).”
Soli deo Gloria!