I encourage you to use this moment to analyze how you spend your time. Sure, there is time for sleeping and eating. There will be time you spend working, whether that is working for pay or just working to accomplish things that need to be done. But these surely do not account for all of your time. Much of the rest of your time might be labeled as non-productive time – not spent working, eating and sleeping. What do you do with that time? Are you idle? Do you spend much time in pleasure or entertainment? Do you spend time visiting or talking with other people? Just what do you do?
God does not expect mankind to work all the time. God made the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27). Exodus 20:9-10a “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.” While the Sabbath is not directly commanded to Christians today, I believe that the principle of the Sabbath still exists today; you need to take some time away from work to refresh yourself so that you can go back to work again. You can waste your non-work time or you can be wise in how you spend it. Ephesians 5:15-17 “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.” Do you take time to pray? Do you take time to plan? Do you ask for leading and guidance from your Father in heaven? Do you take time to read and meditate on God’s word? Do you serve other people? Do you do things to improve yourself and your abilities, to prepare yourself for upcoming challenges? To redeem the time implies buying up those moments that others seem to throw away. The days are evil, so be wise in how you use your time.
You need to be especially wise in how you use your time relative to non-Christians or people who question your faith and practice. Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” When you speak to others, you want to respond with grace and not with anger, with wisdom and not with ignorance. 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” Part of being wise in how you respond to others is preparing yourself. If someone asks you why you believe in the creation of God and not evolution, are you prepared to give an answer? If someone else asks you why you believe or stand on certain truths of the Bible, are you prepared to explain the reason why? Are you ready and prepared? Use your time to get ready. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to be ready in his work. 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
Another part of being wise in how you use your time is seizing opportunities that come your way. Many times in my life I have missed opportunities to do good because I was not mentally, spiritually, or physically prepared to see and respond to the need; when I got ready and went back, the opportunity was gone. Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Titus 3:1 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.” The Philippians did not help the apostle Paul for a time, but when the opportunity came to help, they were ready. Philippians 4:10 “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.” Use your time to prepare yourself for opportunities.
My encouragement to you is that you redeem your time. Be wise in how you use your time. Prepare yourself for opportunities when they come.