“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil”. Ephesians 5:15-16 KJV
Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the so-called “Prison Epistles”. It was written during Paul’s imprisonment: while in chains, in a Roman prison, with a Roman jail guard.
In verse 15, the word “circumspectly” [Greek,”akribos”] means to live exactly or diligently. It denotes to live exactly after our model: Jesus Christ. To live as Jesus lived, to love as Jesus loved, to pray as Jesus prayed, to share our faith as Jesus shared His. It also means to live carefully as the Apostle Peter exhorted the first-century Christians: “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world”. 1Peter 2:12 (NLT) Our faith and life testimony are a reflection of Christ who lives in us. And it matters – a lot.
In verse 16, the Apostle Paul talks about redeeming the time. Time is a commodity that is not in abundance. Once spent, it cannot be retrieved. The years gone by cannot be returned to us, you can’t buy it back and re-start from that point onward. Redeeming the time essentially means to make the most of every opportunity, or to make the best use of the time given.
And then Paul gives us the reason for such exhortation: because the days are evil. Its not just bad trading days, bad harvests, bad investments, bad diagnoses, bad careers, bad politics, or bad relationships – but Paul said that “the days are evil”.
How well we spend time to the best advantage that it can possibly give us makes it even more precious. Sometimes a minute makes an awful difference between life and death, between success and failure, between war and peace, between order and anarchy, between redemption and damnation.