Slow Down and Save Time!

September 07, 2017
Dr. J.B. Hixson
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See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)

So much of life comes down to perspective.  Perspective can mean the difference between joy and despair, between hope and despondency, between contentment and anxiety.  To the poet, a pearl is a teardrop of the sea. To the ladies, it is a treasured jewel they can wear around their necks. To the scientist, it is a lustrous concretion formed of multiple layers of nacre.

It’s all about perspective.  A canny old farmer was approached by a stranger one day and asked how much he thought his prized Jersey cow was worth. The farmer thought for a moment, looked the stranger over, then asked: “Are you the tax assessor or has she just been killed by your car.”

Young David understood the importance of perspective.  When the soldiers of Israel saw Goliath, they thought to themselves, “He is so big that we can never kill him.” When David saw Goliath, he thought to himself, “He is so big that I cannot miss him.”

David's encounter with Goliath illustrates one of the biggest advantages that believers have over unbelievers: perspective.  Those who know the Lord see things through the lens of the Creator’s sovereign plan.  We have an eternal vantage point.  We understand that life is about much more than you can see, or feel, or touch.  We know that no matter what the circumstance, Someone greater is always at work.  Proverbs 28:5 reminds us, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.”  In other words, those who seek the Lord have a greater understanding—a better perspective—than those who do not.

The Apostle Paul puts it this way, “You were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord.” (Eph. 5:8)  He goes on to say that in light of the new perspective that comes with knowing the Lord, we should “walk as children of the light.”  Later in the same passage, Paul explains that “walking as children of the light” means walking “circumspectly.”  The word circumspectly comes from a Greek word that means “diligently and accurately.”  If we walk diligently, with the right perspective, we will make wise choices in life.  We will see the bigger picture and have a God-centered attitude no matter what life may throw our way.

Having the right perspective allows us to “redeem the time,” as Paul says.  The word redeem means to rescue from loss.  As we look back over the events of each day, one of two things is always true.  Either we made good use of our time by maintaining a spiritual perspective, or we wasted our time because we lived for the moment.  Wasted time is lost time.  You can never regain a minute lost.  But to “redeem the time” is to live in such a way that our actions have eternal value in the Kingdom of God.  Those who walk circumspectly are storing up untold treasures in heaven.

We often hear the phrase “save time” in the context of doing things faster or more efficiently.  The reality is the more deliberate and conscientious our actions, the greater the chance that our time will not be wasted, eternally speaking.  Maybe a better way to save time would be to approach each day, not with speed, busyness, and efficiency, but with serious contemplation about the eternal value of the choices we make.  Slow down and save time, before it gets away from you!


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