“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)
We live in times that are constantly changing, and that brings new challenges and opportunities. We often feel overwhelmed by them. Time is something that, while in some ways we can measure it, in others it slips away almost like it did not even exist. We say things like, “Where did the time go?”, or “How did time get away from me?”, and we mean it. We are often caught unaware when we have wasted time that we cannot get back.
We are told in Ephesians to redeem the time. How can we get back something that is lost? Can we go back and start over and somehow the time will suddenly reappear? And what are we doing with that time? Is it time well spent, or is it simply wasted?
This is Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word redeem:
- to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable
- to exchange (something, such as a coupon or lottery ticket) for money, an award, etc.
- to buy back (something, such as a stock or bond)
God has given each of us gifts. He intends for us to use these gifts. And as we do, we will grow in not only the use of them, but in the delivery, the diligence, and the time spent serving with them. So if we waste our time that God has given us, do we just give up and stop using our gifts? Do we tell ourselves we are no longer of use to God? That we are of no benefit to others? Does wasting time make the days evil?
No, the days are evil because the world and the flesh are temporarily in control, and look out for their own interests only. The world will use us to further its cause if we allow it. This is why we are warned to redeem the time. But how can we do that?
We redeem the time by walking with Christ and taking one step at a time. We are more likely to waste our time when we rush, when we try to accomplish too much, when we make promises to do this and that, and that thing over there, when there is no possible way we can–as we measure time. Instead, we are to use wisdom, trusting God to guide us and help us make choices to use our time wisely and for the best end.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:17
We don’t have to be geniuses to figure this one out! Jesus’ will is the will of the Father. He has given us breath and life to do His will. Since this is one of His purposes for us, He will also equip us for the work. If we choose to make the mistake of wasting our time, He will help us get back on track. All we need do is confess our error to ourselves, and to Him, and He will be the one to redeem our time.
What this means is, He will not literally restore the physical time, but He will help us to use the remaining time to the very best advantage. We can make up time by learning to wisely use the time we have, and therefore have greater results. The hours and minutes may be gone, but the will of the Lord will be done regardless. We need not beat ourselves up over time we have lost, but make the best of the new and endless opportunities the Lord will put before us.
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
Remember the definition of the word redeem? To buy back. This is exactly what Our Hope did for us on the cross, and by the way He modeled His life before the people. By becoming the Lamb of God, the Living Sacrifice, Jesus used His blood to purchase us, thereby redeeming us from our sin. We are redeemed, we are free, we are His. He has redeemed not only our lives, but everyday He will help us redeem our time. Let us celebrate this redemption and use our time for His glory and honor.
How has God redeemed your time? Please share your experience at www.mystoryofgrace.com. We want to hear of God’s great work in your life!