“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15,16).
WE HAVE ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF DAYS TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD, AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT WE’VE SPENT THEM WELL. We need to be able to go to bed each night knowing that we’ve used the resources of that day to the best of our personal abilities and have redeemed the time.
This doesn’t mean that every single day must be spent in full-throttle, no-time-for-leisure work. The best use of some days is to rest. In the Law of Moses, it should be noted, God required the people of Israel to rest one day out of every seven. And though the Sabbath law does not apply directly to us today, the point should not be missed: God understands our need for rest and replenishment, and the correct use of many days is to engage in those very things. “Days well spent” does not mean “all work and no play.”
On any given day, however, whatever should be done with that day — whether work, play, or some combination of the two — that is what we should do. As the days come and go, we need to have the good feeling that we’re using life as God wants us to use it, rather than wasting it doing things that were never meant to be done or things that were meant for someone else to do.
For fallible creatures like us, living the godly life comes down to the business of making regular improvement. Reaching forward means doing a little better with each day than was done with the day before. If we take a moment or two at the end of the day to reflect on what we’ve done (and it’s wise to make that a habit), it’s a wonderful feeling to know that, with that day, we’ve taken a step forward in our stewardship of life — we’ve brought another thing or two under the benevolence of God’s will and made ourselves a bit more completely the vessels of God’s glory. In an age obsessed with self-esteem, we should understand that healthy self-respect can only come from hearing God say to us at day’s end, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
“Begin well and go on to better. Do everything for the glory of God and the benefit of others. Consider time lost if you do not use it to at least think of the glory of God and seek for a way to do something for someone else’s advantage” (John Bradford).