Sometimes the day just gets away from me and then I look back and say “Where has the time gone?” In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he is speaking of how we ought to be spending our time. I love how it is said in the KJV old English … “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time”. He is encouraging the believers to be wise, even when some folks that they are spending time with are “without”, meaning on the outside — unbelievers. Seemingly he is predicting that it is very easy for the day to get away from you.
James talks about how quickly life passes us by too, take a look:
James 4:13-14 ( KJV ) 13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
So redeeming the time — that’s when we are careful to use our time in an efficient way. With today’s technology, I think it is way too easy to lose track of time. For example, say you are on the internet looking for something in particular and then before you know it you are grabbed into that popular social media page. Next thing you know it is time to have a meal but the meal has not been prepared because that’s your job and you did not do it; you ran out of time. Or, sometimes we get caught up in a television series and maybe we have recorded it to be viewed later. So you finish with your evening chores and you start the DVR to view your prerecorded programs and before you know it the clock reads 1:00 a.m. Now you are looking at lost sleep, which will make for a difficult day tomorrow. It quickly becomes a cycle that is hard to break. It all started because you did not redeem your time like a wise person should do.
What Paul is talking about here is that we must use our time wisely. Wisdom teaches us how to set time limits on those things that can easily steal the time away. It is wisdom that helps us to be kind and thoughtful in what we say and how we say it. The Bible tells us in Proverbs that we should “get wisdom” and “get understanding”. It says that the fear (reverence) of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and that fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1, Proverbs 4). We also read that the fool hath said in his heart that there is no God (Psalms 53:1).
So you see a fool is one who does not believe in God. A fool is not “in Christ”, because the Bible also says that God made Christ wisdom for us:
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ( KJV ) 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
So redeeming the time is what we do when we are “in Christ”. We spend our time wisely, using it all to the glory of God. You do that by setting time limits on how much time you are on the internet and how much time you spend watching TV. In fact, if you are spending more time doing things that do not promote the Gospel of grace, than on those that do you ought to look at rearranging your schedule so that you have more time to spread that good news.
Redeem the time so that you can tell others about our blessed Redeemer.