See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
I. THE DUTY — "Walk circumspectly," i.e., diligently, carefully. The phrase imports such a caution and exactness in our Christian conversation, as resembles that which men use when walking on the top of a precipice or the summit of a building, where a small misstep would endanger a fall, and a fall would be fatal.
1. Walk circumspectly, that you may keep within the line of your duty. Religion is not an extended plain, in which you may walk at large, and turn to any point without passing its limits; but a strait and narrow path, in which you must pursue one steady course without diverting to either side.
(1) Be watchful to retain a sense of virtue and rectitude.
(2) Be attentive, that you may conform to the spirit of God's commands.
2. Walk circumspectly, that you may escape the snares in your way. Your greatest security lies in watchfulness and prayer, lest you enter into temptations. If they meet you, resist them; but your first care must be to avoid them.
3. Walk circumspectly, that you may wisely comport with the aspects of Providence. The beauty of religion, yea, religion itself, greatly consists in the correspondence of your temper and behaviour with your existing circumstances. In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider.
4. Be circumspect, that you may do every duty in its time and place.
5. Walk circumspectly, that your good may not be evil spoken of.
II. THE REASON — "The days are evil." The Christian, while he dwells on earth, may say, "The days are evil" —
1. Because he finds in himself much disorder and corruption.
2. Because he is exposed to various afflictions.
3. Because there are many adversaries.
4. Because iniquity abounds. Much need there is that he should "walk circumspectly."
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,