We each have callings on our lives. There’s the place you live. A role you fill. A position you carry. You are Mother or Father or maybe have to do both. You are a sister or a brother. A daughter or a son. You’re a wife. A husband. Teacher. Doctor. Nurse. Technician. Associate. You fill in the blank. If you’re a Christian, you have another one: “Children of Light”.
Ephesians 5 is a call to the church in Ephesus to live as “children of light” while filling these life roles. Paul was “calling them up” to a pure life-one that doesn’t have to hide and act in secret, but rather can stand unashamed in front of others. Many were indulging in sexual sin. Many were talking about those who were. Paul exhorts the believers with a few nuggets of gold:
*There shouldn’t be even a hint of sexual impurity among you. (vs 3) This seems obvious to us as Christians, but consider what your eyes have seen in the last two weeks. Is there a show or a book that has taken your mind on a sexual adventure? This isn’t for you Christ-follower! Our culture has become saturated with sex and unfortunately too many Christians have been lulled to sleep. You reason it away that “it’s a real (true) love story”. But the truth of the matter is that if it’s not your own God-given love story between you and your husband, you weren’t meant to be reading about it or watching it. Anyways, maybe some of our married couples need to stop living on other people’s private lives and go make a few memories of their own… if you know what I mean.
*Don’t even talk about the things that evil people do. (vs 12) Paul is telling these Christians that we aren’t to sit idly and talk about things that other people do in secret. It’s not helpful and surely isn’t making the most of their time. I remember the first time I read this verse as an adult. I was taken back by it. It has stopped my mouth on several occasions from talking about evil things that would be of no help to anyone. I’ve also had to change the channel or put down a book because of it. We were called to purity, not amusement by other people’s sin. I’ve got enough of my own to deal with!
*Redeem the time! (vs 16) In other words, make the most of the time you’ve been given. I personally love this exhortation. Paul is telling these people that since the days are evil and filled with so much sin, they need to make the most of the time they have and share the story of Christ with their sphere of influence. Look at our American culture. There is promiscuity and escape at every turn. You have to be vigilant about your eyes, your time, and your mind. We have to seek the Lord regularly for wisdom as we walk through this life. And make the most of the time you’ve been given to serve God and serve others. This reminder causes me to ask myself “Is this the best use of my time?” Sometimes the answer is yes. Other times, it moves me to make a better choice.
How will you redeem the time today in the role you’ve been called to? It might require great sacrifice on your part. It might require you to stop right now and repent of sin. It might force you to change diapers, field questions, clean your house, serve your family, stay up late, or get up early. It might require you to take a step of faith. It might require you to talk with a friend, share Jesus or love the unlovely. We have limited days, so let’s Redeem the time and make the biggest impact our little lives can make for the kingdom of God!