The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is a marvel to behold. Clad all in stainless steel, the 630-foot arch is the tallest of these types of structures in the entire world. When it was constructed in the 1960s, both feet of the arch were erected simultaneously, and joined at their very center. But had the construction of either foot of the arch been off by even a fraction, the two halves of the arch would have missed making a perfect union. Such a marvel of engineering required incredibly careful planning and thorough execution.

As believers in Jesus, we need to consider carefully how to live our lives for Him. Paul commands both the church in Colosse as well as the church in Ephesus to live wisely and carefully (Colossians 4:5). When we read these words, we might think that these commands are only about us being careful to live out pure lives in Christ and that careful living will keep us away from personal sin. While there’s certainly a sense in which this is true, Paul offers a motivation for right living beyond personal holiness.

This motivation is to be an effective witness in how we relate to outsiders. Wise living makes sure that we do not miss any opportunities to share the gospel (Colossians 4:3,5). It also ensures that the conversations we have with those who don’t know Jesus are “gracious and attractive” (Colossians 4:6). So careful living doesn’t merely keep us from sin, it also informs our relationship with the world.

Wise and careful living in God’s wisdom and strength is doubly important. Not only does it make sure that we don’t become like the world, but it also guides us in how we interact with it!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 17:1-26