Redeem Your Time At This Time

During this uncertain coronavirus pandemic confining most of us to our homes, I hear of people complaining about being bored with all the extra time on their hands.  But how often have they previously complained, “I just don’t have the time!”  Well now you do.  How will you make good use of it?

Ephesians 5:15-16 reads, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Paul commands Christians to make wise, careful use of our lives because we understand that our times are tainted and ticking away.

The Greek word for, “redeem” means to “make the most of” or “buy back”.  One pop song laments, “If I Could Turn Back Time”.  Well, you can’t.  But you can buy back your remaining opportunities by cashing in your temporal moments Christ has redeemed for you within eternal life.  Grab your second chances to accomplish something important which the tyranny of the urgent[1] has constantly robbed you of.

How many times have you said, “I wish I had more time” or “I ran out of time”?  Presently there is “plenty of time”; still, “time is money”.  Don’t bury your new spare time in the dirt of disarray, disorganization, depression, and disinterest in spiritual and practical improvement.  Reinvest your days to make more interest for your Master.

Soon your extra time will be spent up.  Will you have taken advantage of it before regularity resumes?

I spent an afternoon browsing for wisdom from The New Dictionary of Thoughts on “time”; I trust you will find them well worth your time to meditate upon while planning your morning and evening:

  • “As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment of time.”—J. Mason
  • “Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of; in nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God; in nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed; in nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act.”—Richard Baxter
  • “One to-day is worth two to-morrows.”—Quarles
  • “Keep forever in view the momentous value of life; aim at its worthiest use—its sublimest end; spurn, with disdain, those foolish trifles and frivolous vanities, which so often consume life, as the locusts did Egypt; and devote yourself, with ardor of a passion, to attain the most divine improvements of the human soul.  In short, hold yourself in preparation to make the transition to another life, whenever you shall be claimed by the Lord of the world.”—J. Foster
  • “Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time, which every day produces, and which most men throw away, but which nevertheless will make at the end of it no small deduction from the life of man.”—Colton
  • “There can be no persevering industry without a deep sense of the value of time.”—Lydia H. Sigourney
  • “You’ll find as you grow older that you weren’t born such a very great while ago after all. The time shortens up.”—William Dean Howells
  • “Time is so fleeting that if we do not remember God in our youth, age may find us incapable of thinking about him.”—Hans Christian Andersen
  • “Time does not become sacred to us until we have lived it, until it has passed over us and taken with it a part of ourselves.”—John Burroughs
  • “What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal.”—John Howe
  • “ ... time misspent is not lived, but lost.”—Fuller
  • “We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.”—Goethe
  • “All my possessions for a moment of time.”—Last words of Queen Elizabeth I.
  • “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”—Shakespeare
  • “Spare moments are the gold dust of time ... Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.”—Pitman
  • “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it.—No idleness; no laziness; no procrastination;--never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.”—Chesterfield[2]

You are now being afforded an unusual amount of time—to be sure not to waste it, Redeem Your Time at This Time.[3]

Grant Van Leuven has been feeding the flock at the Puritan Evangelical Church of America in San Diego, CA, since 2010.  He and his wife, Fernanda, have five covenant children: Rachel, Olivia, Abraham, Isaac, and Gabriel.  He earned his M.Div. at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

[1] See Charles E. Hummel’s booklet, Tyranny of the Urgent, which was required reading in one of my seminary classes.

[2] Tyron Edwards, ed., The New Dictionary of Thoughts: A Cyclopedia of Quotations (U.S.A.: Standard Book Company, 1957) 672-676.

[3] For the author’s original sermon on this text and title visit:


Grant Van Leuven