Ephesians 5:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:17, NIV: Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Ephesians 5:17, ESV: Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17, KJV: Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17, NASB: Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17, NLT: Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:17, CSB: So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

What does Ephesians 5:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Based on his commands to walk with wisdom (Ephesians 5:15) and make the most of each opportunity (Ephesians 5:16), Paul concludes that Christians should not be reckless or unwise in our lifestyle choices. Paul referred to some "foolish" actions and talk in Ephesians 5:4. Here, he reminds readers that foolishness contradicts God's desire for our lives. Further, Paul was well acquainted with the Proverbs, which frequently note the negatives associated with foolishness (Proverbs 10:1; 14:17; 15:20; 17:25; 19:13; 21:20; 30:32). Those who are wise refrain from foolish living.

In contrast, Paul urged readers to recognize God's will. He speaks about God's will throughout this letter (Ephesians 1:1, 5, 9, 11; 6:6). Paul saw himself as an apostle by the will of God. All believers are adopted as sons through Jesus by His will (Ephesians 1:5). God's revelation contains the clear will of God. Those who study God's Word will become familiar with God's perspective on life's issues (2 Timothy 3:16).

Further, prayer and the wise words of other mature believers can assist us. These tools help us better determine specific applications of God's will to areas of our life. When we turn from foolishness, we can focus more clearly on understanding God's desires for our lives.