Ransoming Time

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15

In last Thursday’s reflection, we investigated the meaning of the phrase “the days are evil” in Ephesians 5:16. We saw that it’s not so much that literal spans of time are evil as that they are in the clutches of evil. The days in which we live are dominated by sin and the powers of darkness. Thus, in a manner of speaking, the days are evil because they are imprisoned by iniquity.

But the days can be rescued from evil and turned to good. That’s the sense of verse 16. In our translation it reads, “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” The Greek could be rendered more literally, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The verb translated as “redeeming” shows up in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Then, in Galatians 4:5 it says that Christ was born under the law “to redeem those under the law.” So, looking back at Ephesians 5:16, we might say that we are to redeem the time by ransoming it from the clutches of evil.

Of course, we don’t rescue the days by literally paying some sort of ransom. Rather, when we are careful about how we live, when we use our time wisely rather than foolishly, then we are redeeming time from its diabolic prison. Ironically, Ephesians 5:16 speaks of redeeming or buying time where we would speak of spending it well. But the thought is similar. To use our English idiom, if we spend our time well, not wasting it on trivia, not to mention outright sin, then time itself will be invested in good, rather than evil.

I wonder what would happen today if you and I thought about time in the way of Ephesians 5:16. The day before us is held captive by evil. But if we live thoughtfully, if we use well the opportunities given to us, then we can set a bit of time free today. We can ransom it from evil into the goodness of God’s kingdom. That’s something I’d like to try. How about you?

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways might you be able to ransom time today? We think of spending time. Ephesians speaks of buying time. What difference does it make, if any, when we think of time as something to be bought rather than spent?

PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for giving me the opportunity to ransom today from the prison of evil. This is certainly a different way for me to think about the day before me. Help me to act wisely, to use well every opportunity, so that I might redeem this day from evil and claim it for your kingdom.

All praise be to you, God of time, God of history, God of all goodness. Amen.


The Evaluation

Each year, workers everywhere receive an evaluation of their job performance from their employer and, while most evaluations in the workplace don't go quite the way they appear on The Apprentice, those annual evaluations are often the source of everything from disappointment and stress, to surprise and a boost of confidence. How do we approach and receive evaluations as Christian workers? What can we learn from Jesus about giving and receiving words of instruction, correction, and affirmation? How can entrepreneurs and the self-employed remain accountable for doing good work and for keeping an eye on weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the workplace? The series, The Evaluation, takes a closer look.

Featured image by Alexis Martín. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.

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