Make the Most of Your Opportunities
By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs | ©2020
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16
How do you make the most of your opportunities? When life changes unexpectedly, how does God expect us to respond? He has provided a clear answer to this question. The words of Ephesians 5:15-16 offer four ways to make the most of the opportunities we face through the way we live—including those we would prefer not to encounter.
Our first challenge is to live carefully: “Be very careful, then, how you live.” What does it mean to be “very careful”? The passage starts with a Greek word literally translated “See” or “Look” at how we live. We are to first pay attention and consider the moments God allows into our lives.
The second aspect of living carefully is forward motion. We are to literally “walk circumspectly.” Our path is not one that allows us to quit or turn back during difficult moments. Instead, God calls us to reflect on our situation and navigate it according to His strength.
Our second challenge is to live wisely: “not as unwise, but as wise.” The apostle Paul only presents two options—wisdom or lack of it. There is no third option. We are called to address life’s issues with God’s insights, relying on the wisdom found in the Lord rather than in our own power.
Our heavenly Father gives wisdom and is the creator of wisdom. Proverbs 2:6 teaches, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Whatever temptation or trouble, or even positive topic we face, He holds the information we need to wisely choose the right path.
How can we know God’s wisdom? As believers,
- His Spirit lives within us.
- His Word lights the path before us.
- His people offer insight and community.
When we lack wisdom, God also teaches us to ask for it in prayer. James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” We do not need to question whether God wants us to know His wisdom; He promises to give it when we ask.
Our third challenge is to live confidently: “making the most of every opportunity.” Christians are called to be opportunists. We are to observe the possibilities before us and choose the option that maximizes God’s glory.
This is true whether the choice concerns who we marry, where we work, the location of our home, the clothing we wear, the gifts we give, and even the food we eat. God desires for us to choose His way in all things. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Finally, these verses challenge us to live faithfully: “because the days are evil.” Paul was a realist. He understood we do not live in a world filled with easy decisions and no consequences. The world in which we exist is broken and sinful. We do not deny our fallen world, but we seek to live faithfully in it.
Wrap Up on How to Make the Most of Your Opportunities
Jesus offered the perfect example of this trait by coming from heaven to earth to live a sinless life in a sinful world. He faced temptation, yet did not sin. Though we cannot live a perfect live, we can live faithfully. As we encounter situations that test our faith, we can seek options that honor the Lord and impact lives for eternity. We may not always understand the situations we encounter in life, but we can understand how to respond to them. Whether the opportunities we face are positive or negative, God challenges us to live carefully, wisely, confidently, and faithfully as we navigate according to His power and truth
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Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.