“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15-21)
In these verses Paul gives instructions on how to walk wisely in seven key areas of our lives, providing a motivation in each area. Those areas are: Time-management, purpose, spirituality, speech, worship, thanksgiving and submission. Let’s explore the first one together.
Time is Ticking Away
I am sure you have met people who say they wish they had more time in their day to accomplish all they have to do. Maybe you are one of those people. Then we look at other people who have far more on their plates and wonder how they manage it all. Do they some how have more hours in a day than we do? Certainly not. God has graciously given us all the same number of hours in a day to accomplish all that we have to – twenty-four.
How is it then that those who already have a full plate get more done than we do? Quite simply, they manage their time better. There is the saying that goes if you want a job done properly, give to someone who already has a lot to do. Why would that be? Because they are people that are already managing their time well that to add another job to their day is not going to phase them – they will just schedule it in. But those who have little to nothing to do, well that job will just sit on the pile of jobs that will be done when they get around to it.
The reality is that time is ticking away, and like spilled milk, you cannot pick it up again and put it back in the bottle – it is lost forever. And the older one becomes the faster it seems to tick away.
Make the Most of Your Time
Hence Paul’s exhortation in our text, walk wisely, making the most of your time. The word for “making the most” is best translated as “redeeming” and the Greek word can mean “to buy up, ransom, or rescue from loss”.
But how do we do this? For those who are not saved it could mean a number of things, such as driving over the speed limit to make an appointment, skipping breakfast, doing your make-up in the car, or working eighteen hour days. But in the Biblical sense it means something far different. It means making the most of the time that remains in our life. Planning our days, sticking to a schedule, being in time for appointments, prioritising those things in our lives that are truly important and putting aside the trivial matters.
Living in the twenty-first century we have hundreds of tools on hand to help us with this. From diaries, to modern gadgets, from alarms to apps on our cell-phones or tablets, we literally have time-management at our fingertips, but we neglect to use them. Why? I think the answer lies in one word – discipline. We lack the discipline to use the tools and manage our time and ourselves efficiently.
But why must we manage our time? Is it so that we can have a good reputation? No. It’s because, as Paul says, “the days are evil”. The reality is that if we don’t manage our time, sin will get an even stronger grip on us and we will be wasting our time with things that will pull us away from God. Our lives are meant to be lived for His glory, and how can we expect to glorify Him if we are wasting our time on things that don’t matter and are evil.
We can only redeem today and plan to redeem tomorrow, for yesterday is gone! We alone are responsible for using the gift of time that God has given to all of us. Let’s use it wisely.
Just a Thought!
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