Defensive Living

Thanks to, I recently completed my first defensive driver course since obtaining my drivers license. In New York State, doing this automatically reduces your annual insurance premium by 10% and removes as many as 3 points from your driving record. If you live in New York and haven’t done this yet, I highly recommend it!

After taking this course about driving defensively, the question occurred to me, “Do I live defensively?”

“Do I live defensively?”

Road deaths, injuries and damage occur at a higher level not so much because drivers break the law, but because they fail to drive in a responsible way. But how about life in general? Do you live in a responsible way, or do you live carelessly or recklessly?

As I reflect on this question, two thoughts from Scripture come to mind.

Walk Circumspectly

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise (Eph. 5:15).

This thought pertains to my personal life. Circumspectly to “look around.” Perhaps you guessed this already, because of the first half of the work being circum (as in the circumference of a circle) and the second half being spect (as in spectator or spectacles). The idea is that I should not careen through life thoughtlessly, like a pinball in a pinball machine. Instead, I should step through life skillfully and thoughtfully, like a queen on a chessboard.

I should know what the Bible teaches, and prayerfully apply biblical principles to all the choices I make and situations I encounter. Whether or not a decision is “right or wrong” or “sin or not” is not the only question I should ask. I should ask whether a decision is best. I should consider the long-term effects of the decision, not just the present results. As I step through life, I should step circumspectly, making wise, calculated choices along the way, directed by the principles of the Word of God.

Don’t Be a Stumbling Block

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (1 Cor. 8:9)

This thought pertains to my public life. As I make decisions, I should not only consider whether a choice is “right or wrong,” but whether it will help or hurt, encourage or confuse another person. This is not an easy principle to follow, because we are naturally selfish and fail to consider the effects of our decisions on others. We make decisions that are technically acceptable within our personal freedom as Christians, but the same decisions cause other people to stumble in their Christian journey. Instead, the mature Christian considers the spiritual safety of other people and makes choices with that in mind.

If you’ve taken a defensive driving course, as I did, then you’ll also understand the importance of defensive living. Many of the same principles apply. So remember, walk circumspectly and don’t be a stumbling block!

So remember, walk circumspectly and don’t be a stumbling block!

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