“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind.” (Eph. 4:17)
Is God approving Paul’s thinking or the other way around? Either way, the verse tells us that they are agreed on the point being made. Christians were not to walk like Gentiles walked nor were they to walk like Jews. They were, as we shall see, to walk like Christ who called them on the walk at the onset.
The idea of futility is that of uselessness. We might phrase it as “a waste of time.” When we say something is a waste of time, we are saying it is futile. Imagine using that word to describe a person’s mind.
When a person is born, lives and dies to no purpose, we would consider their life as a waste, useless. In other words, when we have no reason to exist, we are contributing to a meaningless world and living in futility. If our minds have nothing more to focus on than the day to day existence of eating and sleeping, then we live a futile life, and there is futility in our thinking. This is sometimes described as “eat, drink and be merry” or “what, me be concerned,” attitude. No past, no present, and no future.
Christ came to give life true meaning. To turn us from the futility of our mind to a meaningful and worthwhile existence. Christ came so that we would have an answer to the question, “Why am I here?” It is easy to see that if one believes he or she is an accident that they would lack any real understanding of purpose in their life. Like actors on a stage, we perform and say our lines and the disappear behind the curtain.
What if we walk with purpose? What if every word and every deed was done to maximise our opportunity to affect the world in a positive light. We could let the light of God shine, and the spirit of God direct and the voice of God speak through us. We could be God’s representative in the world. Wouldn’t that be a totally different kind of walk? Walk for a reason and walk with a purpose. Have a true mission for our thoughts and expressions.
What if we bring the light to darkness and joy to sadness? What if we filled the empty places in our minds with thoughts of goodness and service to others. We could help the helpless and feed the hungry and clothe the naked and mostly, love the unloved.
Task for today: If you don’t have one, find a reason to walk today. Find a purpose besides yourself and meaning in more than food and clothing. Fill your mind with conscious awareness that God is alive and all is well with the world.