Time Well Spent

“Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

At first this verse seems a bit strange. We should make the best use of our time because “the days are evil.” What did the Apostle Paul mean by this expression? Did he refer to surrounding temptations his reader might face that would distract them from serving God? Did he mean that we need to use our good influence to counteract the evil that surrounds us? Perhaps he meant a little of both.

People who have lived a long life often comment on how quickly it passed by. If we stare at a clock, we will conclude that it ticks slowly. But if we engage in faced-paced activities, we will remark how swiftly time passed. Because we answer to God directly, we need to use our time to the utmost and for His glory.

How can we best do that?

1. Avoid the surrounding evil.
Evil does indeed encircle us, and temptations abound. In order to steer clear of it, we need to occupy our time pleasing God. We need to build our lives on the solid rock foundation, and avoid evil, as Paul tells his readers elsewhere:

“Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

The best way to do that is to immerse our lives in the things of God, including serving Him.

2. Exert a godly influence.
In this world, the light confronts the darkness directly (see John 1:5). Even though surrounded by evil, the Christian needs to shine brightly for Christ. We confront evil not by employing their weapons, such as debating, fighting and grabbing for power (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Instead we live for Christ, not allowing the nearby darkness to engulf us.

3. Serve the King.
Jesus promised us many wonderful things. But He also promised us tribulation (John 16:33). When our godly influence shines on others, we help them to see the light of Christ. When we make a commitment to serve God, we use our time wisely and do the most damage to the kingdom of darkness.

What is a life well spent? We use our time best in the service of the King.

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