The bible tells us, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5: 16) This is an important verse. We live in a busy time. We live in an information age, a recreation age, and an age of plenty. Anything and everything is available to us - both good and evil. So, we must be careful to not get caught up with this world, its ways, and all that it has to offer us. Indeed, we must redeem the time because the days are evil. We must make the most of our time before God.
But how do we redeem the time? There is a passage in Luke 10: 38-42 that may at least help us get started. Jesus was once at the home of Mary and Martha. Martha was busy, actually distracted, by all of the preparations that had to be made. Mary on the other hand sat at Jesus’ feet listening to all that He had to say. Martha became upset about this and said: “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to all the work by myself. Tell her to come help me!” Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about much, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Now, most of us could empathize with Martha. Most of us would say that Martha’s concerns were legitimate. After all, if Martha and Mary didn’t take care of the preparations, who would? Who would prepare the food and refreshments? Who would take care of their important guest? As much as we may want to argue this point, Jesus didn’t see it that way. As far as Jesus was concerned, what He had to say was much more important than all of the preparations that Martha believed were so necessary.
How often do we find ourselves in Martha’s position – worried and upset about much? Instead of spending time with God, we are distracted, preoccupied, or just burned out. Although we tend to believe that only sinful things can take us away from God, this is not necessarily the case. Our preoccupation with the cares of everyday life and the “things” that this world has to offer – which may not be sinful in themselves – can become a distraction and just as easily take us away from God. There is a saying, “If the devil can’t get you to sin, he’ll keep you busy.” While we cannot neglect our responsibilities to our families, neighbors, and employers, we must be wise how we use our time!
So, let’s get back to our original question. How do we redeem the time? We can start by spending more time with God in prayer, meditation, and the study of His word. In other words, we can start by spending more time sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ and “listening to all that he has to say”. What better place is there to “redeem the time”?