It’s not really our time is it?
I have battled entertainment sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Youtube for a couple of months. These time takers can get in the way of a Christians growth. Giving hours to binge watching can cause a Christian’s prayer life to suffer, bible reading to fade, and ultimately can harm their evangelism.
Two years ago I started taking seminary classes online. Then I got married. I got involved in my church where the opportunity to teach youth. Also I was able to help one of our elders lead discussion during small groups. The Lord also led me to be able to meet up with one of our church’s high school students to go through the Psalms. All of this was given to me. Now I had to manage it where I would have strong, healthy time with my wife and effective study in Gods Word. It was difficult. Today I still have to be strategic and disciplined so that I do not abuse the role of husband and the role of teacher.
In Ephesians 5:15-16 Gods Word says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” At the beginning of verse 15 Paul instructs us through the power of God to examine our walk. He tells us how we should examine our walk when he says that we should “look carefully.” Sometimes when I look at my walk it can be idle, or reckless. The idea here is that we should be watching ourselves closely in what where we traffic through. Are we giving our minds to meaningless entertainment or are we resting in the Word? Paul goes on to make a distinction between those who walk “as unwise” and those who walk “as wise.” The unwise probably are not carefully considering where they are going or concerned about their walk. The wise though makes the best use of the time. Notice that it doesn’t read your time, but “the best use of the time.” The possession of time belongs in Gods Hand. It is our responsibility in how we use it. Are we using it just so that it will seem to go by faster? Or are we like the popular phrase “killing time?”
What does “the days are evil” mean? How are we able to redeem time? I think that is what the Lord would have us do with the time He gives us. When God saved us He sets us on a path of meaningfulness. No matter where the course takes you; there is profound purpose that God has for you to live because when He knows how to plan for His glory to be displayed. How are we to use our days which are filled with opportunities of evil. I believe by making the best use of time. Because of Gods redeeming love we are able to tap into His fountain of wisdom namely His Word to learn how to use and manage our time the best way we can. Since God has set us apart we are not to continue in doing evil, but in doing good. Now that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and the power of Christ to conquer sin we can follow in the instruction of the next several verses.
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:17-25
In these verses we learn not what to avoid, but what the Christian ought to cling to. The will of the Lord, filled with the Spirit, edifying one another through worship, making melody to the Lord, and giving thanks. All of these stems from knowing Gods Word and applying it in the area of time management. The wise examines his walk, turns from foolishness, and puts the will of the Lord before all else.
Now I am not exhorting you to quit Netflix cold turkey, but I am asking you to consider your ways. Are you putting your need for entertainment before the will of the Lord, the care for siblings in Christ, and reverence for Christ? When we examine ourselves honestly then the small idols that are shoved in the crevices of our heart will be spotted and we will know what are time is being devoted to. The Trinitarian God is sovereign over election, and sanctification. Therefore we must remember that He is daily setting us apart for glorification. It is our duty to recognize this graceful event and take responsibility to heeding to His Spirit as we are on the path to being more like Christ.