Being wise and living carefully entails respect. Love resists all disrespect. Love is grounded in mutual respect. Being wise is loving. So how might we do that?
First, we need to lower our voices.
Second, stop the blame game.
Third, speak truth in love.
Fourth, listen carefully. Why do you think we have two ears and only one mouth?!
I reminded those present in our worship that commencement addresses were often thought of as the place wisdom is to be proclaimed. Anna Quindlen, a superb contemporary writer (Still Life with Bread Crumbs; Lots of Candles, Plenty of Care; and several others), is a frequent commencement speaker. She said some things that fit in many respects with Ephesians. "Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house.... Get a life in which you are not alone.... Get a life in which you are generous.... And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived." Think about that analogy!
Also it is interesting that this Ephesians passage ends with an emphasis on the Christian communities need for communal singing. This is not a focus on religious enthusiasm or retreating from the world or seeking private mystical experiences. It means that Spirit filled worship is a part of being wise. So the Christian communities' worship makes a vital contribution to our wise living in the world.
What is the song you will bring to our community to remind us of what it means to "be careful how we live?"