“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.’ – Colossians 4:5
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17
“…now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” – Romans 13:11
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” -- 1 Thessalonians 5:6
“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” – 1 Timothy 2:4
The local phone company’s slogan, “Make progress every day,” would not be a bad one for Christians to live by. I strive to make some kind of progress every day. I want to know more or be closer to some goal than I was at the beginning of the day by the time the day is over. It’s sad when Christians waste money, but the really huge tragedy is when Christians waste TIME. You can get money back, but you can never get time back. Sometimes the world understands that better than some Christians do. Most of the secular success books deal with time management and living with a purpose. Even ELO said, “The music is reversible, but time is not.” (To hear that, you have to play the beginning of Fire On High backward. Not that you should waste your time trying it yourself.) Yet the theme song for many Christians has changed from Onward Christian Soldiers to Wasted Days and Wasted Nights. David Wilkerson said years ago that wasting time would become one of the biggest problems for Christians.
Now please understand that I am NOT saying you must be a constant workhorse who burns out because you get no rest. Indeed, Jesus rested and told His disciples to “come and rest a while”. Leisure activity is good for you – as long as it doesn’t replace Bible reading and fellowship with God! Going on a date with your spouse is a good thing because it’s an investment into your marriage. It’s not a waste of time! Going somewhere with your kids is an investment into your family. However, spending 200 hours trying to get to the Fifth Underworld Level on Multiplayer Online Rooms of Doom might not be a great time investment, especially if it takes you away from your spouse and family. (No such level or game – I made those up.) God isn’t against leisure as long as leisure doesn’t become an idol, that is, something that gets a higher place in your affections and time than God Himself.
Are you living with a purpose or just spinning your wheels? Do you have any goals? Are you taking active steps to accomplish something that will make you better? Examples would include doing things to get out of debt, learning the Bible better, reading books or taking classes to develop a new skill set, trying to share your faith with others, working on a music CD, learning an instrument, learning a foreign language, getting in better physical shape, working on becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in prayer, volunteering with an outreach program that helps others, fixing up your house…the list could go on and on. Here are some things that would NOT contribute to any specific purpose if they are all you do all day: Watching other people salivate over money on TV game shows, reading tabloid articles (“Woman Gives Birth to Her Own Mother!” etc.), trying to start arguments with people over trivia, watching girls fight with each other in school hallways on YouTube, listening to a radio station for three hours while vegging on the couch, reading endless pages of real estate ads when you’re not looking for real estate…you can probably think of other examples.
We all get the same amount of time regardless of our status in society, and no one ever gets any of it back to live over. While we should not live “driven” lives, we should live purposeful lives. Let’s use the time we have left to make a difference in this world!