Three Ways to Redeem Time

“Time is relative. How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you’re on.” Though I don’t know who said that, it sure is true! No one likes to wait, and time sometimes seems to crawl.

Like most children, I thought I’d never be big enough to ride the adult rides at Disneyland. It took forever to reach high school or go on my first date. The months I lived between high school graduation and college seemed to stretch on “forever.” So what happened? Suddenly I’m sitting in a race car called “the prime of life,” and I’m talking about the decades I’ve lived!

I’ve found that sometimes it’s easier to talk about eternity than next week, because I feel my days are all slipping by so quickly. When I think of eternity, I’m back to the “I can’t wait” thinking of childhood. It seems like it’s taking forever for Jesus to return! But when I think about next week, it’s like—“Yikes, I don’t have time to get everything done!” I have to remember that all time, this side of heaven, is exactly the same: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. It doesn’t change. All that really changes is what I accomplish during that time, and that has to do with the choices I make.

Paul exhorted the believers of his day to “redeem the time”—to buy it up and use it wisely (Ephesians 5:16), because the days were evil. That truth hasn’t changed.

Three practical ways to “redeem” time:

1. Save Time – Is there something you can do today to shorten a process or chore, so you’ll have more time for something that counts for eternity? (I now keep stationery and already-stamped envelopes at my desk, ready to write encouragement notes.)
2. Buy Up Time – How can you take time from one area of your life and commit it to a God-focused activity? (I cut out a favorite 30-minute TV show, and have committed that time to Bible study.)
3. Use Time Wisely – Is there any time that you are using foolishly that you can turn around to make more effective for the Lord? (I've cut out time I spent leafing through catalogs when I can't afford anything in them anyway! That's aimless dreaming.)

We’re still in a wicked culture, and all that really counts is living for Christ and following in His steps to redeem the world. John Wesley said it this way, in “On Redeeming the Time” (Sermon 93): “... saving all the time you can for the best purposes; buying up every fleeting moment out of the hands of sin and Satan, out of the hands of sloth, ease, pleasure, worldly business ... .”

I once counted up how many days I’d have left if I lived to age 70, and I started marking off each day. But I quit because it was so fruitless. How much better to say, “Father God, what do You want me to accomplish today?” Then, no matter what else happens, I know I’ve redeemed the time for Him.

So tell me, how have you chosen to redeem the hours of your day? I’d love to hear from you!

For more help with time management, see "Spending Your Time Account."


Maria Keckler said...

Wow, this is great Dawn. I'm going to steal your idea #1. I have cards and envelopes always handy but don't have the stamps, so I will add that to my list! Very cool time saving idea. Seems so simple, but we always need a reminder to make it all click.

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks, Maria. I know what a busy lady you are, so I'm glad you found something here helpful!

crazydaisy said...

Logical and innovative! Thank you!

Dawn Wilson said...

I figure that we need to save time wherever we can! Thanks, "Crazy Daisy!"

Miss Jocelyn said...

Wow, great article. Very encouraging.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Sorry it took me so long to return the note! :)

Dawn Wilson said...

Jocelyn, you are one of the young women I know who is truly redeeming the time, so I appreciate your comment. You are blessing women of all ages with your blog... and your God-centered life.