Ephesians 5:15-21 – “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.” NKJV
I like the directive issued by the apostle Paul but have a few questions regarding verse 16.
- How do you redeem time?
- What exactly does that mean?
- Is it even possible to redeem time?
Obviously, the answer to the last question is yes or it would not have shown up in the Bible written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, that would lead back to the first two questions. How and what is he talking about regarding “redeeming the time?” The two obvious elements in this equation are: Time and Redeem or Redemption of Time. Probably definitions of both would be appropriate to help us consider this subject and then strive to be in compliance with the directive.
THE GREEK: exagorazonemoi ton kairon
We find in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance the first expression is from the word [exagoranzo] translated redeeming which means to buy up, ransom, and/or rescue from loss. The third expression is from the word [kairos] which means an occasion, opportunity, season, or time. From this, we can conclude that “redeeming the time” is the idea of making the most of every opportunity because “time” cannot be recalled if it is allowed to pass.
Psalms 90:12 – “…teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” NKJV
Job 14:1 – “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.” NKJV
Psalms 39:4-5 – “LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. 5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.” NKJV
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” NKJV
The brevity of life is a fact that cannot be escaped and the importance of making the most of every moment and opportunity is clear in the light of that brevity. We do not get a second chance at a missed opportunity. We may get another opportunity that is similar but that one is gone forever as far as time is concerned. If we “waste” time, fail to “manage” time and are not “diligent” with our time we will find that at the end of the day and the end of our days we have regrets and that is not the way God wants us to live.
Time should be “prioritized” as is revealed in Acts 6 where the apostles viewed the situation of caring for the widows and needy by laying out a plan whereby that task could be completed and not take away from their “time” of prayer and ministering the word of God. Paul also admonished the Roman believers in Romans 13 that they need to be “aware” of the time and sense, the urgency of every moment in their efforts for the Kingdom.
In Colossians 3 we are advised that our investment of time in everything that we do should be done with gusto and the giving of 100% because whatever we are doing we are doing as unto the Lord. Peter calls us to remembrance that much of our lifetime has been spent in serving the devil so we need to devote our time to the Lord of Hosts as seen in 1 Peter 4:3. Jesus was very conscious of “times” and “seasons” as He spoke in John 7 when He told His followers that His “time” was not yet, but their “time” is now.
If we are to Redeem the Time we must be conscious of time and while Jesus most assuredly pulled back from His labors to rest from time to time and encouraged His followers to do the same He Never lost sight of the ultimate purpose and mission and therefore made the most of His time. Most of us would probably do better if we developed a schedule allowing room for spontaneity and the unexpected.
We should Always be sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit and upon hearing that still small voice saying within our hearts, “this is the way, walk in it,” we should obey. My challenge is to Redeem the Time by not allowing it to fall on the trash heap of Idleness or Carelessness. I don’t mean, don’t have fun and enjoy time away from your work, labor, and ministry but Always keeping our focus on the ultimate prize, purpose, and goal.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but a good resolve for each of us would be to become better Stewards of our Time.
May God bless you as you labor for His kingdom and walk through this maze called life! Blessings!