“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:15,16
There were two ancient Greek words used for time. One had the idea simply of day upon day and hour upon hour. The other had the idea of a definite portion of time, a time where something should happen. It is the difference between time and THE time. The idea here is of THE time; it is a definite season of opportunity that Christians must redeem.
Paul isn’t telling us to make the most of every moment, even though that is good advice. He tells us to seize opportunity for the glory of Jesus. It isn’t to make the most of time, but to make the most of THE time.
Take a moment to think about what you do in your “spare” time.
Using the chart below, honestly estimate the hours you spend on each activity each week.
_____ Watching television/movies/videos
_____ Browsing the internet
_____ Social Networking
_____ Playing games
_____ Listening to music
_____ Reading books or magazines
Are you surprised at the total?
All of the activities listed above, none in and of themselves are necessarily evil, are things that many of us enjoy spending time doing and depending on how each is used, I suppose they are ok. But perhaps we should stop asking, “Is this ok?” and start asking, “Is this the best?” Would we be better served using the time, energy, and resources on other things, eternal things, things that more aptly glorify God?
According to Hebrews 9:27 each of us is given a specific allotment of time on this earth. And when that time is up we will be judged on how we spent it.
A good and helpful word for us all is given in I Timothy 4:13-16, where we read: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee… Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
As long as we are here in this world, we will be confronted with things that would be much better to refuse for the sake of our spiritual well-being. We should get in the habit of asking ourselves, “Will this please the Lord? Or, am I just seeking to please myself?”
Consider Samson. The underlying reason for Samson’s downfall was not Delilah, but was seen earlier in his life as he gave expression to these words: “Get her for me, for she pleaseth me well” (Judges 14:3). This self-pleasing characterized him throughout his life and at last, he lost his strength, his eyesight, his liberty, and finally his life.
How are you spending your allotted time? Are you living to please self, or are you committed to spend the time, talent and resources that God has given you to serve Him?
Have you become stagnant in your service to the Lord? Have you become comfortable in your service to Him, seemingly just going through the motions? Have you settled in and are just bidding your time until He comes again? If so, you are not “redeeming the time.”