Paul draws a sharp contrast in this passage between two ways of life, represented by light and darkness. As stark as the contrast is, however, he does not suggest that it is always easy for us to know the right thing to do. He warns against being deceived, and urges us to use discernment and be careful in our walk.
He also makes it clear that this is not a solitary walk we take alone. He is addressing us as members of a church, and we have a responsibility not only for our own walk but to allow God to speak to others through us, as well as hearing Him speak to us through them.
Jesus provides practical steps for dealing with the kind of moral issues that can severely damage our lives and our testimony as believers. But churches today make little use of his instructions, whether out of fear of being overly harsh, an aversion to conflict, or simply because in so many churches, people really don’t know each other all that well. And because in our modern, mobile society, it may seem easier to find a new church – or no church at all – than to go through the messy, sometimes painful process of resolving problems the right way.