Monday, January 9, 2012

Redeem the Time.

Like most folks (I suppose), this is the time of year when I tend to start thinking about how I use my time. Another year of my life in this world has now officially become my past. How many more years will there be? How will I invest any future days, weeks, months, & years the Lord sees fit to give me?

Time is important to God. How we use our time is important to God -- it's a matter of Christian ethics, Christian morality, Christian wisdom. Just look at the 4th commandment. Or look at how we're taught to pray in Psalm 90.

Or look at Ephesians 5. It begins with this command:

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children."

But what does it mean to imitate God? How?

Well, one way (according to verses 15-17 of that same chapter) is in our use of time:

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

This passage is worth some thought.

First of all, notice one of the Bible's great contrasts staring us in the face again. One of the most basic & fundamental truths of life in this world is that you can spend your time walking as a fool or walking as a wise person.

Which path am I choosing? What's the basic direction of my life?

According to the last verse quoted above, being foolish can be defined as not understanding what the will of the Lord is. Being foolish is not seeing things in their true light; not rightly estimating what is important to God (or not making a right use of that estimation).

By contrast, the wise are those who do understand what the will of the Lord is, and they want to make a right use of that understanding. They want to live life the way God meant for it to be lived.

And according to verse 16, that involves thinking about how we use our time: "making the best use of the time"... or, as the older translations have it: "redeeming the time."

Here's where we stop for now: What we do with the time given us is a matter of wisdom or foolishness... understanding the Lord's will or (perhaps willfully) not understanding the Lord's will. A couple of more thoughts to follow...

... to be continued ...

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