See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Having dispatched the first observable in the text, which was the grand duty incumbent on us, viz., that "we walk circumspectly," I proceed now to the particular instances of this duty, and they are "Christian wisdom" and "redeeming the time."
1. I say, we may more eminently convince the world that we have obtained to Christian wisdom and prudence by our being of a humble and meek spirit. There is nothing looks so unbecoming in a person that professes godliness as pride.
2. Make a visible proof of your walking wisely by being of a peaceable and quiet, a loving and charitable temper, and that, first, among yourselves, secondly, towards all men. Let your first care be that you disgrace not religion by falling out among yourselves.
3. Though you ought to maintain a loving and sociable converse with the world, yet Christian wisdom directs you to abhor and avoid all intimate commerce and friendship with such as you know to be professed enemies to virtue and godliness, and are openly profane, and refuse to be reclaimed from their abominable practices.
4. Show your godly wisdom in your strict observing of the second table as well as the first. Your duty to God must never exclude that which you owe to your neighbours, for in discharging both you serve God.
5. Let your prudence be seen in your perfect vanquishing of earthly-mindedness and covetousness.
6. Walk not as fools, but as wise, by living contentedly and cheerfully in whatever state of life it pleaseth the Divine Providence to place you. Serve God and be joyful, is a Christian's motto. He hath learnt to live by faith, which is ever accompanied with rejoicing.
7. Discover your Christian prudence and wisdom by being always more strict and severe to yourselves than you are to your neighbours.
8. Show your Christian prudence (and in that your circumspection) in being cautious in the use of lawful and innocent things.
9. Let our spiritual care and wisdom be seen in our not making ourselves guilty of other men's sins.The application of all shall be in these two particulars:
1. Be deterred from all appearance of wickedness and vice.
2. Be encouraged to a holy and godly life.Think you have reason to be deterred from all manner of vicious practices on this double consideration:
1. Lest the ways of God be evil spoken of, and consequently that God himself be dishonoured thereby.
2. Lest others be drawn to imitate your ill example.
(John Edwards, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,