Ephesians 5:15-16-“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
One of the profound lessons of a lockdown is that it reminds us of the value of TIME. Truly, time is life. When we waste time, we waste life. That is why, even during this lockdown, we must resist the temptation to waste time. Many will come out of the lockdown gaining only physical weight. But the wise will gain more than physical weight, because they would have put the time to more beneficial use.
In the above scripture, Apostle Paul was admonishing the Ephesian Christians to spend their time on valuable rather than mundane things. To ‘redeem’ means to recover or compensate for. While it may be naturally and physically impossible to recover lost time, we can compensate for, or ameliorate the impact, by utilizing our remaining time in the best possible optimal way.
How can we do this?
1. By avoiding the mistakes of the past. Isaiah 43:18 says:”forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Philippians 3:13-14 too. Whatever we did yesterday that did not work out, may appear as a lost opportunity, but by identifying the mistakes, learning from, and avoiding them in the future, we will be able to use our time more profitably. When you avoid past mistakes, you move faster and achieve more with less time.
2. By avoiding time-wasters. Just imagine those things you thought were vital to your existence, but which you have not been able to do in the last four weeks, yet you survived. There are many things we merely do out of habit rather than need. They are avoidable time-wasters. Whatever or Whoever will not add value to you, will de-value you, by wasting your time. Abraham’s life improved after he parted with Lot. You have no business in the company of those who don’t share your vision and passion in life. They will only steal your time. The Bible says you should ‘come out’ from them, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
3. By forsaking sin. Sin costs you more than you can afford and takes you farther than you intended. If you’ve been engaged in fornication or adultery before, or still do now, you will honestly admit the enormous time it cost you, apart from the financial and emotional drain. Satan’s trick is to gradually steal your time through the indulgence of sin, until he steals your whole life, John 10:10. That’s what happened to Samson. He wasted his time on Delilah’s Laps and eventually wasted his life in the hands of the philistines, Judges 16. When you stop sinning, you will gain enormous amount of time which you can invest in more profitable ventures. If you can forsake sin for four weeks, you can forsake it for life.
4. By prioritizing. In Mathew 6:33, Jesus commanded us to prioritize the Kingdom of heaven and its righteousness above all else. In Acts 6:1-7, the Apostles realized the need to prioritize preaching over serving of food, so they appointed deacons to serve tables while they concentrated their time and effort on preparing and preaching of sermons. Don’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. Spreading yourself too thin, will leave you with little or no impact. Learn to differentiate between the urgent and the important issues of life. What is urgent may not necessarily be important. Apply wisdom in deciding what to spend your time on. Don’t also forget that procrastination is a thief of time.
5. By maximizing your chances. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, wither thou goest.” In life, you must think and act like a top footfall striker. Have an eye for goals. Be ready to score from the narrowest of chances. Maximize every opportunity that comes your way, for it may be the last. Remember, the clock is ticking, and there are others on the substitute bench, waiting to take your place, if you keep missing your chances.
6. By being constantly heavenly conscious. Colossians 3:2 says to set our minds constantly on things above rather than on things here on earth. If we do, we are likely going to invest our time more in the things of the Kingdom, for as Jesus Christ said in Mathew 6:21, where a man’s treasure is, there his heart will always be.
In conclusion, as Jesus warned in John 9:4, always remember that night is coming, when no man can work. Spend your time now while it is day, on things of enduring value, so that you can have rest at night. Your family, your health, helping others, right standing with God, drawing men to God, saving for the rainy day, and a legacy of integrity-are things worthy of your time. ‘Night’ is not necessarily just death. It could be retirement. It could be old age. It could be unexpected ill-health. It could be loss of a dear one. But ultimately it is the day we shut our eyes for the last time.
How we spend our time now, will determine how cold or warm, bitter or sweet, glorious or inglorious our night will be. May your night be exceedingly much better than your day, in Jesus name. Amen.