“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Time pressure is something everyone feels. The never-ending demands of today’s accelerated world weigh on us constantly. And it’s not going to stop. It isn’t going to slow down. The reality is that there is more to do than we have time to do. So we must choose wisely. We must be strategic.
You have the time to do anything you want; you just don’t have the time to do everything you want.
A very helpful scripture in this regard is 2 Corinthians 10:13-14 where Paul writes, “But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.”
The message here is that God has assigned to each of us an area of influence. God does not call us to do everything for everyone; rather, he calls us to maximize our impact within the sphere of influence that he has assigned to us.
He also warns us not to worry about—or boast about—things beyond our influence.
I think any committed Christian has looked at all of the needs/problems/people in the world and wondered or worried: Am I doing enough? This passage challenges us to ask a more focused question: Am I doing what I should be doing in the time and place that the Lord has assigned to me?
In order to maximize our Kingdom impact in our sphere of influence, our focus should be on what we do (our work, family, and community), how we do it (our methods), and why we do it (our motives). If we get those three things right, we will be good stewards of the time and place within which God has placed us.
Psalm 90:12 speaks to this strategic view of life: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” In other words, look carefully at where you are in life and be aware of what is happening around you. Within your sphere of influence, where can you have an impact? Where and how can you make a difference?
And look carefully at when you are in life. Your days are numbered; you will go through stages and seasons of life with your family, with your job, in your community. What stage/season of life are you in today and what are the needs and priorities? What stage/season is coming up and what do you need to do to prepare?
Recognize and respond to:
- Defining moments.
- Seasons and stages.
- The era in which you live.
- The presence of the kingdom of God in and through your life.
This is what it means to look carefully and be wise in the way you walk. This is what it means to redeem the time.