Ephesians 5:16, 17 - "redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Time keeps marching on. It never stops, it never takes a break. Time is a lesson in consistency. You can never get time back so you need to give forethought to how you spend it. Redeeming the time means to buy time back. The Bible teaches us elsewhere to make the most out of our time, but here we are instructed to buy some back.
Let's talk for a moment about the kind of things that waste our time. First there is stuff. For all the stuff we have, we need to spend time and energy keeping it up -- house, car, bike, boat, etc. The less stuff we have to maintain, the more time we have. It's not that we can't have these things,
just know that each new thing brings more time restraints. Our self-worth does not exist in the things we posses. It's not the car we drive or how big our house is. Our self-worth is in the things money cannot buy. Redeeming the time might just mean downsizing to get rid of some of those time eaters which will leave you more time to spend on what really matters.
Next, we need to be willing to say "No" to some people who put demands on our time. When I first started pastoring, I felt I needed to spend time with anyone who wanted to get together with me. This became very overwhelming. I sometimes spent 18-hour days in counseling, not to mention lunches, weddings and visitations. If I continued in such a way my family, my marriage, and my relationship with God would suffer because I was always giving out and never taking back in. It is still hard for me to say no when someone wants something from me, but I have learned to redeem my time by limiting some of these things. A wise man once told me, "For everything I say yes to, I am saying no to something else." Therefore I want to say yes to the important things.
One more area we must talk about is wasted time. Proverbs tells us, "There is a man so lazy he cannot bring his hand to his mouth from the bowl." Many other proverbs speak to us about laziness, too. We need to understand there is a time for us to "chill" as my twenty-two year old would say. We need to recharge the batteries as it were. Too much down time, however, can lead to us being involved in things that will bring us down. King David, at a time when kings go to war (he should have been about the king's business, the Bible says), looked over from his rooftop and saw Bathsheba taking a bath. His next steps led to a great personal crisis in his life. Another Proverb says, "A little rest and little folding of the hand and sudden destruction
comes upon you."
The text tells us what we should be doing with our time. "Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." There is nothing better for us to do with our time than to find out what the will of God is and then spend our time doing that.