As we come to the end of this winter series on Wisdom from above (James 3:17), we turn our attention to the end game: As Francis Schaeffer put it, “how should we then live?” The apostle Paul tells us to “look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-17). Paul’s view of time is sweeping, much like Stephen Hawking’s view of the ever expanding universe. In Titus 1:2, Paul can affirm that the “hope of eternal life” was “promised” to us “before the ages began.” In other words, before the concept of time even existed, God, “who never lies,” promised eternal life. Therefore when Paul says, “make the most of the time,” he is embarking on a re-prioritization program on a massive scale. The clock is running out on us and we need to reset what we think is important and what is not. This is the sum of wisdom.
Paul is never stronger as when he switches his argument to the first person and his own life. In Corinth, he goes through this reprioritization by focusing on one thing alone. It’s not his gravitas and his powerful intellect (which he undoubtedly possesses), but he chooses to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).
To reprioritize, to make the most of the time, means that we put our trust and focus on the Cross and the Lord Jesus Himself. But in this quest for wisdom, we also remember that we need to ask for wisdom from above in faith, without doubting. James tells us if anyone lacks wisdom, let him or her ask God, and it will be given to them (James 1). This is our promise and this is our hope: Wisdom from above, Christ Himself, to sustain us to the end.