Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
To walk circumspectly means to conduct your life in a manner that is carefully attentive to any, and all circumstances, that relate to every action you take, or to every judgment you make. It means to exercise prudence, care, and caution in all aspects of your life, especially regarding the decision-making process. The text indicates two ways a person can conduct their lives - either foolishly or wisely.
To walk foolishly is to walk without God. Notice especially how lost, and without hope, the foolish person is depicted by the Psalmist. The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalm 14:1-3). Psalm 53:1-3 expresses the same sentiment almost verbatim.
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool (Prov. 10:18). The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that harkeneth unto counsel is wise (Prov. 12:15). He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered (Prov. 28:26). These are only three bits of wisdom found in the book of Proverbs, regarding a foolish person, as compared to those that are considered wise. There are thirty-eight descriptions of a fool found in this book alone, all containing messages similar to those quoted above. Nothing complementary is ever found in the ways of a fool.
What can be said about those that are wise? The word "wise" is found 247 times in the KJV bible, with 66 of those times mentioned in the book of Proverbs. To know and understand the difference between walking in wisdom, as compared to walking foolishly, it is imperative that the bible student read, and study, the book of Proverbs. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Prov. 20:1). The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise (Prov. 15:31). Who can deny the wisdom found in these proverbs? As the author of Proverbs discusses both wisdom and foolishness, consider this comparison he makes between the two ways, in which a person can conduct their lives. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Prov. 13:20). Regarding these, and all other teachings found in the book of Proverbs, I give my own proverb for your consideration: "He that reads, understands, and makes the proper application of these proverbs to their lives, walks in wisdom: he that disregards their teaching, walks as a fool!"
Look at the second verse of the lesson text: redeeming the time, because the days are evil. In every age mankind has lived on earth, this can be said: the days are evil. Whether we look at times past, present, or the predicted times of the future, all days have been, are now, and will continue to be full of trials, tribulations, troubles, and temptations. It is a fact of life, regardless of the era in which one lives. How one copes with these "evils" of life, demonstrates either wisdom or foolishness. We can walk as fools, waste, and throw away, the moments of time in each day of our lives. Or, we can walk as wise by saving, and redeeming, the time each day we live. Be assured of this; God, our Creator, has given each of us a sufficient number of days and years on earth to spiritually redeem the time and gain eternal salvation for our soul.
To do this; to wisely use our time on earth, and gain eternal salvation, consider the last verse of the lesson text: Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Salvation is found in godly wisdom; in knowing, understanding, and obeying the will of God. Eternal punishment results in failing to do so, and then, to follow worldly wisdom. Be wise, be prudent, and walk circumspectly. Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:2).