Colossians 3:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
The picture of redeeming the time is of a merchant searching through the market for some valuable commodity and eagerly buying it up wherever it is found.
Our Lord Himself has said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls. We may adopt the Lord’s simile and rightly say that the hours of every day are a string of pearls, each one to be prized and treasured for its immense worth.
The word rendered redeeming means literally buying out. It could mean buying up all that is in the market or buying away from, or to rescue from bad hands. “Redeeming the time” may have been a proverb in Paul’s day.
The general meaning of redeeming the time is clear. It means to rescue or recover our time from waste, to improve it for great and important purposes.
Time is a priceless commodity and believers must always be on the lookout for the right use of time. We need to resolve to turn our time into the best advantage for the Lord.
Time is charged with opportunity. Time is a gift of God. We must use the time we are given by making wise decisions in the use of the opportunities God puts before us. Time flies. Job said, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle…they are passed away as the swift ships, as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 7:6ff.) Life with its glorious opportunities and solemn responsibilities is upon us now. If we have wasted time in the past, it is all the more reason we should redeem the time now. If up to now we’ve lived like the heathen, it is high time we begin to live like children of God. An oft quoted saying, attributed to William Penn, expresses the mind of one who would earnestly redeem the time. “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good work, therefore, I can do or show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now! Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Redeem your time in study of the Word and prayer to keep the heart right before God. Redeem the time from all that would waste and destroy it. Do what you know you should do while you still have time to do it. If you have time on your hands, use it in spiritually profitable activities which realistically manifest themselves in uplifting Christ (Colossians 1:18).