What does it mean to be circumspect?
Circumspect, it means to think carefully about possible risks and consequences. This has been the word in my head lately: to be “circumspect” about life. Perhaps it is because I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life and how I live it and in the process have discovered that I am being “circumspect.”
Paul tells us that we should walk “circumspectly” in the New King James:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:15-16 NKJV)
For me being “circumspect” in my life is to actively evaluate the circumstances in my life to identify how well I am living. It is asking, if my action of living is in line with my beliefs or convictions. It means evaluating my life internally as well as externally.
Internally against the Word of God and externally to see if how I live is in line with what I believe and if people are seeing Christ in me like I hope they are.
Four benefits of being circumspect about life:
- It establishes greater humility in your life: Many of us battle to find time to think, but when we purposefully examine our lives we are bound to find areas that need improvement. I am not suggesting a long, laborious naval gazing exercise, that results in negative outbusts of woe. Instead it is an honest process of thinking about life that identifies how you are doing.
Rom 12:3 “…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
1 Cor 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
- It brings an alignment of your plans and activity, to God’s plans and purposes. Being circumspect allows you to see your life in light of who you are, who you belong to, the roles that you play and the purpose of your life.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness;’ (1 Cor 3:18-19)
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts .” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- You develop a realistic evaluation of where you are in your relationship with the Lord and your own spiritual growth. Are you living a life that glorifies God and does what is right before men? How much you have sought out His face and desired to know Him better? Do you have a realistic evaluation of your own righteousness before God, your own commitment levels to God, your own willingness to be set aside for the purposes of God, your personal example before other people, your personal motives etc.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31)
“For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” (2 Cor 8:21)
- It causes you to evaluate the use of your tongue against God’s standard of love. James warns us about an unbridled tongue and that a sure sign of spiritual maturing is our ability to control the tongue.
“…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:8-10 ESV)
I love the Message bibles Col 8:8: “It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.”
Our way of speaking has to change. In fact our speech is to have two characteristics:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
Being circumspect about our lives according to Paul in Eph 5:15-16 prevents us from being foolish in how we walk in our lives and the end result is that it produces a wise approach to life. This wise approach to life will ensure that the days of our lives (which are limited) are redeemed, in other words: not wasted.
Being circumspect will ensure that you live wisely and your life is worthwhile.
Why not start being circumspect about your life today.
Thank you Father for showing me what it is to be circumspect and the benefits it brings to my life. Help me to spend that necessary time in Your Presence being circumspect about my life, evaluating it honestly with the help of the Spirit who will reveal all things to me through the Word. Please continue to show me Your perspective on my life.