The simple flashing light on the street corner is a metaphor for life. Let me illustrate a spiritual principle by reading a verse from the bible.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Let’s look at the “Walk” sign first. It reads, Let us walk honestly. “Honestly” in the Greek literally means in “good appearance.” Kenneth Wuest says the word honestly, “Gives an honest impression of themselves [a believer] to the world. They should conduct themselves in a manner befitting their high station in life, as saints of the Most High God. Their outward expression should conform to their inner regenerated being.” Be what you are! It does absolutely no good to try to act as someone you can never be. Give an honest impression of yourself to the world.
But what if “the way things are” isn’t “the way things ought to be”? In fact, what if the “good appearance” outside is not an “honest” representation of the inside? If you have come to Christ regeneration is a fact. It does not matter whether you feel regenerated or not. There are times, I can assure you, when you will not feel regenerated at all. This isn’t a matter of unholy living; it’s just how I may emotionally feel at a given moment. Walking in “Newness of Life” says to me, be honest with yourself and give an honest impression – show a good appearance. You’ve been raised in Christ, conduct yourself in a manner befitting that high station – walk honestly with a good appearance!
The true hypocrite is the one who has a particular station in life and lives another. It’s the rich person that is ashamed of the family name and lives a dual life. We don’t tell that person “go ahead, stop being a hypocrite and ruin your life with immoral behavior and depravity.” We try to get them to see the privilege of the family name and inspire to rise to the occasion. Walk with a good appearance and the feelings will follow is what we are saying to that individual. We don’t tell them to go out and do drugs, live how you feel best. We suggest, the walk sign is lit and it’s time to cross the street in an honest, dignified, stately manner.
The “Don’t Walk” sign flashes a different perspective. This time we read it from the NASB.
Romans 13:13 NASB
13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
We find listed six flashing “Don’t Walk” warnings; these are signs that will not only ruin your testimony as a believer, but will bring destruction down upon your life in general. And these six things read like the front page of a TMZ magazine. Our society makes sport of people who ignore and go right through the flashing “Don’t Walk” signs. It pays top dollars to photographers who can catch celebrities walking in this sort of ruinous behavior. And you know what the “paparazzi” loves the most? When they can photograph a child of God with “newness of life” behaving like this; it becomes a headline story.
The “Don’t Walk” sign on the street corner is a symbol of danger. It flashes red declaring the possibility that real harm lies ahead if disregarded. How insightful it is to see how specific Paul was in naming ways not to walk. To ignore the “Don’t Walk” signs is to leave your life open to long-term devastation and ruin.
Every individual, regenerated or not, stands on the corner of “Walk/Don’t Walk.” No one escapes the message; none are higher than the consequences. It is that choice we face everyday when we come to intersections in life. I can choose to walk honestly or act dishonest with myself. What do you do when faced with “Walk/Don’t Walk”?
J. Robert Hanson