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 (ESV)
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)
In both of these translations, we see how Paul explains to the Ephesians that because Christ has saved them, they need to be careful in how they walk— how they go about their lives— making the best use of their time. That’s the idea behind his phrase “redeeming the time.”
The days are full of things that steal our time. They are full of things they steal are attention away from our Savior. And even as sinners saved by grace, our flesh is bent towards giving into those things.
So, Paul warns us. He warns us of how easy it is to waste time.
I recently came across some data shared by @christ.is.the.cure that was shocking to read. It takes 79 hours to read through the Harry Potter series, but only 57 hours to read through the entire Bible.
This struck a chord with me. It was a reminder to me how easy it is to spend time on other things besides the Bible. It takes no effort at all to forget to spend time in the Word and prayer. But despite the effort, we easily take up books or TV series that consumer hours of our precious life.
In media consumption, content isn’t the only thing to consider.
When we look at teaching our kids how to redeem their time, we need to apply Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians to what we allow them to consume. Content aside, are what are kids consuming on YouTube, in books, through steaming services, video games, music, etc. eating up too much time?
For example, the world of the Japanese graphic novels called “Mangas” was just opened up to me as a parent. I was attempting to check out the content of some the Mangas that were going around in my kids’ circles and discovered that there are 101 graphic volumes to a particular series!
Note: Mangas are like comic books, but a lot thicker, with each chapter of the graphic novel being about the length of a comic book.
The certain series I was looking at was clean-ish with no language or sexual content, but slightly violent (although nothing like a lot of comic books out there). So, it could be easy to let the kids read because the content wasn’t bad. But here’s the kicker. The very nature of how each book ends is a cliff-hanger, making the reader want more. And with 101 graphic novels, with four published per year, much time can be consumed! This is only one series. And as you can imagine, there are too many Manga series to count.
It’s too easy for ALL of us.
So, I was once again reminded of how easy it is to be consumed. As easy as it is for me to binge watch When Calls the Heart (don’t judge me— only when I was sick!) or mindlessly scroll through my social media feed, it is just as easy for my kids to consume different types of media, even if they aren’t in front of a screen.
All this media is made for us to want more. To consume more. I’m not saying that we can’t enjoy good, clean media, but in addition to content, we must be aware of our time. WE only have a certain amount of life given to us by the Lord. How will we use it to bring him glory?
Oh, the struggle!
It is SO easy to do other things. The days are evil, indeed. Let’s take up and read the Bible! Let us make time for personal and family devotions or worship time. Let’s use time to build relationships. Let us use time to create or work for the glory of God.
May our children witness us redeeming our time with things that bring God glory, and may God give us the wisdom and strength to guide our kids in how they use their time.
Let’s put down the smart phones, the laptops, and the game controllers. Let us redeem the time. And may we, along with our kids, “Taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:1)
To see our first post on how to guide our kids through media, please visit this link.