“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Every human being on Earth is granted 24 hours per day. The cycle is reset and repeated daily around the world for every individual. Even with something as inclusive as time, the world around us displays an incredible variety from everyone who partakes in our moments walking the earth.
If we took a journey to see how people spend their time, we would witness children playing outside, parents tending to daily responsibilities and others partaking in various activities. Within each of those scenarios, what we wouldn’t see are the underlying emotions of contentment, disappointment, addiction, recovery, love, hate, success, failure, wealth, poverty and more. This includes each continent, each country, each territory, village, neighborhood and even each individual home.
Even though we are all granted the same amount of time per day, every person’s situation is different because of the choices they make with the time they have been given. Onlookers can make snap judgements about whether someone is successful or not by seeing their belongings, their appearance and the job title they carry. However, the Bible speaks the truth about the deeper things that matter the most, and one of the key ingredients is time.
Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us to make the best use of our time. When we read the entire chapter, it teaches us how to fulfill the command. We are told what to avoid: sexual immorality, all impurity, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talk, crude joking, drunkenness and the works of darkness. Additionally, it tells us things that we should partake in: walking with Jesus, thankfulness, discernment, understanding, encouraging others and praising our Savior. The chapter additionally tells us how to treat our spouses.
How do these things relate to time? By exposing the actions that will group us together with those whose lives are plagued with negativity and emotional turmoil and revealing what will bring us or keep us out of that place. Daily practice and habits of positive thoughts and actions will bring us a more beautiful and blessed life. A life without regret. Shunning sinful things and clinging to righteousness and living for Jesus will invite a life that isn’t bound by inner turmoil.
Spending our days walking with the Lord, having thankfulness, gaining wisdom and understanding to discern situations and actions while offering encouragement to those around us are some of the ways to live out our time with no regrets. Our attitude and actions impact everyone around us. A positive attitude and loving spirit inspire our friends, neighbors, places of employment and even some people we’ve never met. The same actions impact our families even more. Negativity and allowing our sinful nature to guide our lives also deeply impacts our families, but not in ways we should desire. Our influence and example create opposite thoughts to those around us when we allow our lives to be filled with sin, negativity and other works of our flesh.
Many additional scriptures add to the truths of Ephesians 5, giving us further instructions for our conduct and inner self. When we realize those areas of guidance will shape and mold us, we can focus on purposefully making the best use of our time.
Learning, growing and practicing positive thoughts and habits daily makes the best use of our time. There are no regrets when we can look back and see that our days were filled with loving others, being an example that gives our families greater opportunity for success in life and showing those around us a life that was lived with purpose and inspiration for others. True success isn’t seen in the person with the most money in the bank or the one who has the biggest home in the neighborhood. True success is seen in the ones whose lives were filled with gratitude and love, spent on those around them.