Jump Start # 2205
Ephesians 5:15-16 “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
Time management, efficiency, priorities—these are more than spiritual concepts, they are life lessons. The college student must learn these principles or else he falls behind. Hospitals run on these values. Most businesses operate with these guidelines. I heard on the radio recently the top four fast foods. It was a national survey based upon the time you order your food, pay for it and receive it in your car. I would have not guessed the one’s on the list. These top four places understood the value of time to their customers.
Wasting time frustrates parents. It drives supervisors crazy. It angers customers.Who hasn’t had to spend half a day waiting for someone who will arrive between 8:00 and noon. Typically, it’s about 11:45 when they show up.
Paul’s words here are not about delivers, fast food, meeting deadlines or getting your homework projects done promptly. His words have a spiritual ring to them. He reminds us that these are not good times. The days are evil. And, this evil will get to us unless three things happen.
First, we must be careful. Our eyes must be open. Have you ever walked through a field where cows have been? You watch where you walk. If you don’t, you’ll likely step into something that you wished you hadn’t. The Bible gives us words such as: be on the alert, watch, beware, or here, be careful. The days are evil. There are evil influences. They are tucked away in books and music and shows. They can mislead us. They can confuse us. They are often sprinkled with spiritual poison containing error and even blasphemy. Don’t rush in just because someone else likes it. You wouldn’t let just anyone babysit your kids. No way. However, do you know what is influencing your kids through media or worse, do you recognize what is influencing you through media. There’s a lot of evil hanging around Facebook. There is a new reality show that is to come out soon. It’s about strangers who have sex. They don’t know each other. The show will follow them afterwards to see if they like each other and want to continue together. The days are evil.
Second, be wise. Walk not just carefully, but walk as those who know. Walk as wise. Walk as those who are informed. Walk as those who have answers. Walk as those who know the difference between right and wrong. Walk with discernment. Walk with the wisdom of God. Walk with eyes that see through the fog that Satan tries to hide behind. Walk with the understanding of what will help me get to Heaven. Walk in such a way to please the Lord. Here is a guy who is thinking as he walks. He’s engaged his mind, his heart and his spiritual radar is on. He’s not against everything, but he is protective of his soul. He understands that after a long period of exposure to violence and bad words that a person becomes numb to those things. He hardly notices them. Violent video games that are based upon killing people can look so realistic. I’ve seen them. You shoot someone and the blood splatters. Or, the movie, in which filthy talk and violence runs throughout, the wise person realizes that those things leave impressions upon us. We find those words surfacing from our own mouths when angry. We’d never say those words, but there they are. The wise person realizes that those things are not helpful. They are not about kindness, goodness or the betterment of life. Instead of reaching out with the gospel, we think about reaching out with a gun. Walk wisely because the days are evil. The wise person has no problem turning off the TV, or skipping the Youtube video that everyone is raving about.
Third, make the most of your time. The word “most” here is important. The text doesn’t say, Make time. We can’t. There are days in which we wish we could. We wish we could bank a few hours here and there and then pull them out later on. Maybe today I need about 26 hours rather than 24. Can’t happen. We can’t make time. But we CAN make the most of our time. Walking carefully and walking wisely helps. Our time here is limited. We don’t run into people today who live to be 900 years old. Our walk here is fairly short. A person can waste a lot of time. There’s many ways we can waste time. Some of it is by doing nothing. Just being lazy is a waste of time. Too long in bed, too many hours watching TV, are killers for many of us. But we can easily waste time by not being organized, efficient and productive. Interruptions and poor planning can have us running too many errands and becoming stressed and worried. Make the most. Days are evil. There are certain things that immediately surface to the top because of those two statements. I need to feed my faith and I need to connect with God. Prayer and Bible reading is essential when days are evil. But how? I’m so busy. I have so much to do. Our days make it easy. Technology allows you to listen to God’s word as you drive. You can pray as you sit in the car waiting for the kids to come out. You can make a list of folks that you need to pray about and send a card to. Make a list, if that’s what you need to do, each day of things you need to get done. That helps you keep on target with your goals.
Evil days will catch up to us unless we are careful, wise and making the most of this day. When evil catches us, we can be conquered. We may surrender. We might take up being evil ourselves. We must put some distance between evil and our hearts. Barriers need to be in place to keep evil out of our homes. Be careful. Be wise. Make the most of your time.
Looking back, what did you accomplish yesterday? Went to work. Went to school. Went shopping. Watched a little TV. Caught up with the Facebook world. Sent a few emails. Typical day. Did you make the most of it? Looking back, what could you have done differently? Like the movie, Groundhog day, if God allowed you to repeat yesterday, would you do anything differently? Did you make the most of it? Did you walk carefully? Did you walk wisely? Thinking about that, now we look to today. How will today be any different than yesterday?
Behind careful walking, wise walking and making the most of your time is purpose, planning and choices. Those things do not just happen to happen. A person is thinking spiritually. He is like a person walking on an icy sidewalk. His walk changes. He slows down. He looks. He is careful. He knows, one wrong step and he’ll be on the ground. The same must be for us because the days are evil.
It’s all about how you walk.