Monday, February 17, 2014

Single Savvy


"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."   -Ephesians 5:15-16

Once in awhile, I meet a Christian single who is very dissatisfied with his lot in life. He seems to be hovering over life, fixed in a holding pattern, until God reveals that perfect mate who will share life and ministry and make his life complete. I can't help but feel sorry for that type of person. He is never content. Because he is so busy gazing on what he thinks are greener, more productive pastures, he misses God's will for him today. How sad, and how unnecessary. God has called each of us to a particular station in life. That station may change, just as the seasons change, but each is for a specific purpose.

Therefore, it behooves the single person to be careful how he conducts his life. I like to call it having "single savvy."  The Random House Dictionary defines "savvy" as being "wise, having understanding." Ephesians 5 picks up this thought when it encourages all of us--single and married alike--to be wise, to make the most of our time. Why? Because the days are evil. Just look around you. It doesn't take long to figure that out. Billboards blare out provocative images. Television and movies splash sexual acts across the screen and into our living rooms. Gay and lesbian militants scream for legalized homosexual marriage and the right to adopt children. A government who prays before every session casts prayer out of its nation's schools. Need I say more? The days are indeed evil. So, how can the single find purpose in his current situation, walk as a wise person, and make the most of his time in these evil days? I offer these suggestions:

1)  WALK IN LOVE. 

Ephesians 5:2 says to "walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."  Focus your energies on loving people, just as Jesus loves and forgives you. Look beyond yourself to others and serve them. What drives you? What talents, gifts, and passions has God put within your heart? You may have more time and energy to devote to the Lord's work now while you are single. If and when you marry, your energies will be divided. Find projects, people, missions you can invest in now that may be difficult to impossible to invest in later should you wed.

Furthermore, all of us battle lust at some time or another, but the temptation may be even greater for the single. Channel that energy into service. Avoid viewing the opposite sex as objects. Think of them as real, living, breathing people made in God's image, who have a personality, a heart and soul, and therefore, true value. Pray for them and their family, even though you may not know them. Prayer can help transform lust into love. Flee places you know are evil and are promoting lust rather than love.

As your life exudes love, you will be releasing a fragrant aroma of witness for God.

2)  WALK IN FAITH.

Colossians 2:6-7 says that "as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude." How did you receive Jesus? By faith. So how do you walk in Him? By faith. Use this period in your life to devote large chunks of time to Bible study and prayer. Attend singles' Bible studies. But don't limit yourself to just singles' groups. Diversify. Mingle with several different age groups. Guide the young. Learn from the old. Keep an open mind, but always be directed by God's truth. Let the Word of God act as a filter for every idea, philosophy, or book that comes across your path. Concentrate on surrounding your life with people, places, and things that will build you up in the faith. And believe that God has your best interests at heart. His plan is always best.

3)  WALK IN CONTENTMENT

Paul says in Philippians 4:11:  "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in." Paul had learned from experience how to walk in humility, yet he boldly and unashamedly proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Lord also learned humility and obedience by the things he endured. What an example of contentment they left us!

What an awesome privilege and responsibility the Christian single has to show the world contentment! To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ! To manage each day as it comes, and let tomorrow take care of itself! To let go of the past, refuse to dwell on the future, and simply live in the present. To fall in love with Jesus and serve Him faithfully now!

This can be one of the greatest times in your life, as you seize each day for God's Kingdom glory!

"....making the most of your time, for the days are evil."

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