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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”—Ephesians 5:15–16 (NKJV)
Have you ever stopped to consider how precious time is? Think about it: Time is the one commodity in this life that we cannot reproduce or recover. Tic, tic, tic with each successive second the time allotted to us by God passes. And once its goes, it’s gone, never to be taken back or seen again.
The point here isn’t to depress or discourage, but rather to emphasize just how precious time truly is. It’s a gift that God has specifically chosen and given to each of us. And whether that gift is another 80 years or another 80 seconds, our responsibility is to be wise stewards of this gift as God enables us to do so. Our time is really His time, and He expects us to put it to the best use.
The apostle Paul touches on this truth in his letter to the Ephesian church. After laying out a lengthy list of lifestyle characteristics that a follower of Christ should demonstrate, he adds this imperative, “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” This is like a spiritual exclamation mark; it’s a way of emphasizing the urgency in applying all that proceeded it. Because, again, that factor we refer to as “time” isn’t slowing or waiting for us to do the right thing. It’s rolling on regardless of how we’re living. So how should a wise steward of time respond to this?
How we should live is clear, “walk circumspectly.” We don’t use the word “circumspectly” very often these days, but it essentially means “careful diligence towards perfection.” It’s not achieving perfection, but it’s a deliberate intentionality to aspire to a standard that is perfect. It means knowing what’s right and consistently choosing that over what isn’t right. We could equate it with the phrase “walking in the way of righteousness.”
When we walk this way, one right decision at a time, Paul says it actually has the effect of redeeming time. That is to say, through choosing what’s righteous, we put time to its supreme use because we’re investing it in the things of God. And although everything in this world is passing away, including time, the things of God are eternal!
The wisest thing we can do as stewards of the time given to us is to sow it into an eternal cause, which is what we do when we walk through this world circumspectly. We don’t just let time slip away, but understand God’s agenda and put our time to work towards that by making the most of every second, every exchange, and every opportunity that God blesses us with.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”—Psalm 90:12 (NKJV)
Pause: What does God expect of us in regards to the gift of time?
Practice: Sit and reflect on how you are investing the time that God is giving to you and consider how you can be wiser with it.
Pray: Lord, I pray along with Moses in Psalm 90 that You would teach me to see time as precious and that You would increase my wisdom as a steward to this wonderful gift. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.