The fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:9
When I have to travel across time zones by air, I try various remedies to avoid jet lag. I think I’ve tried them all! On one occasion, I decided to adjust my in-flight eating to the time zone where I was heading. Instead of eating dinner with the rest of the passengers, I kept watching a movie and tried to fall asleep. The hours of elective fasting were difficult, and the breakfast that came right before we landed left much to be desired. But living “out of sorts” with those around me worked. It jolted my body clock into a new time zone.
Paul knew that if believers in Jesus were to truly reflect Him in their lives, they would need to live out of step with the world around them. They “were once darkness” but now they were to live as “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). And what might that look like? Paul goes on to fill out the picture: “The fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth” (v. 9).
Sleeping through dinner may have seemed foolish to the people on my flight, but even as it’s midnight in the world, as believers, we’re called to live like it’s morning. This may provoke scorn and opposition, but in Jesus we can “walk in the way of love,” following the example of the One who “love[s] us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (v. 2).
Where have your actions and choices lined up too closely with the world around you? What would the fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth look like in your life?
Jesus, wake me up to the new day that has come in You. Fill me with Your power to live in a “different time zone.” Open my eyes to choose goodness, righteousness, and beauty.
To learn more about the characteristics of a believer in Jesus, visit ChristianUniversity.org/SF132.
Paul often writes of what our new life in Christ is to look like. We’re new creations from which the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Ephesians 5:3–7, he lists specific characteristics or actions that should have no place in the lives of believers in Jesus.
But the focus of this section lies in the reason Paul gives for leaving these things behind. The word for at the beginning of verse 8 signals that what follows is causal. We leave these things behind because we’re no longer darkness but light. Paul doesn’t say that we inhabited these areas, but rather that we were these things. We were darkness, but now we’re light. The actions left behind belong to darkness and have no place in light.