Vigilance can be defined as “the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.” Being vigilant in our walk with God means that an individual must remain self-aware for dangers and difficulties at all times. This self-awareness includes emotions along with our doctrinal understanding, and also extends to our practices and habits.
If we are to remain vigilant over our emotions, we must be able to have a balanced perspective in all situations. The most common way we allow our emotions to get the best of us is when we succumb to frustration and anger. This emotion rides just below the surface of our persona or our residual demeanor. It can be sparked by the slightest of apparent infractions; however, the we must remain vigilant in controlling this emotion.
Proverbs 25:28 A person who does not control his temper is like a city whose wall is broken down.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise person holds it in check.
The wisdom of emotional vigilance means we will not say or do things under the control of anger that we may come to regret under any normal circumstance. Violent actions and words are extremely difficult to regain.
James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.
We must also remain vigilant in our doctrinal understanding. This is why we should be spending quality time in prayerful searching, Bible studies, listening to sermons, or reading commentaries. Having a correct understanding of doctrine provides us the basis for balance and appropriate conduct. According to the apostle Paul, the constant assistance of the Spirit of God is his provision for that balance and insight.
1 Corinthians 2:10-14 Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
2 John 1:8-9 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
A spiritual person is typically looked upon as someone who rises above situations and maintains a consistent and reasonable viewpoint. This level-headed thinking then plays out in solid and useful actions.
2 Corinthians 8:21 Indeed, we are giving careful thought to do what is right, not only before the Lord but also before people.
1 John 3:10 This is how God’s children and the devil’s children become obvious. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister.
To be vigilant over our emotions, doctrine and practices provides us the best opportunities to demonstrate true love to others. Our vigilance in these areas is the basis for conducting ourselves in ways that honor God. In the larger picture of our lives among those who live in darkness, we then have the most potential to draw others to him.
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