The Pastor’s Desk
June 1st, 2019
I’m reminded by my mother every time I see her, “Don’t get old!” But the older we get, the truer the statement “Time flies!” It is 2019, and we still get 24 hours every day to use as we see fit. How can we best use the time we have?
Those of us who are older may feel more urgency as we wonder: “How much time do I have left? And what should I do with that time?”
Just recently we went back to my parent’s for a visit. We talked and reminisced about events in our lives from days gone by. I will never forget my Mom commenting in wonderment, “Where did all the years go?”
Time passes. In 2016, we all received a leap second! Periodically, a leap second is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to synchronize clocks to the Earth’s slowing rotation. On Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 6:59:60 p.m., the second was added. And then, whoosh, it was gone!
When a second, a minute or an hour passes, it is gone forever. It cannot be retrieved. Science fiction loves the idea of time travel, which is delightful to think about because we would all like to go back in time and change some things in our own lives. But we can’t do that! We can’t revive even a single solitary second that is already past.
Many of us try to make good use of our time. Time can be squandered, or time can be used productively. Why not benefit from the proper use of our time?
The Bible uses the term “redeeming the time” in Colossians 4:5 and in Ephesians 5:16.
In English, the word redeem can mean to vindicate or compensate for faults, and to regain possession in exchange for payment—buying back.
But as previously mentioned, when each second passes it is gone! And we can’t get it back no matter what we do! So, how can we redeem or buy back the time?
The Greek word translated “redeeming” in English is ἐξαγοράζω (exagorazō is the English transliteration). One of the definitions of this word is: “to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity… by which we make the time our own.”
We have all heard the saying that “Time is money.” We can spend money and we can spend time. We can invest and manage money and we can invest and manage time. We can allocate our money for various expenditures (housing, automobile, food, etc.), and we can allocate our time for various activities (sleeping, eating, etc.). The central question is whether we do that wisely, or foolishly?
Matthew Pool’s Commentary says of the “redeeming the time” term: “buying the opportunity: a metaphor taken from merchants, that diligently observe the time for buying and selling, and easily part with their pleasure for gain.”
Other Bible translations render the phrase, “making the most of the time” (Revised Standard Version), “take advantage of every opportunity” (Common English Bible), “making the best use of your time” (International Standard Version), and “make every minute count” (Contemporary English Version).
Three simple things we can do to “redeem the time” are:
1. Analyze where our time is being spent.
2. Reduce or eliminate time not well spent!
3. Redeem the time by wisely taking the opportunity to use the time we have to do those things that will be most beneficial.
Time does fly. But, we can redeem it by taking the opportunity to use it wisely. One excellent use of time is in studying God’s word faithfully.