See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 NKJV
It becomes clearer as time passes, and you get older. Probably the result of hard lessons learned in our earlier, younger, and busier life. When you are older, and have the luxury of being able to look back, things can become very clear. One of the definitions of ‘redeem’ is to ‘compensate for faults’, and we know a lot about that. How many times have we messed up, and we need to put it right, but we can’t because it is impossible to wind the clock back and relive the moment? That can bring us to our knees, if not literally, at least in our heart. Some of the saddest two words we will ever hear or utter are, ‘if only’, and none of us are exempt from situations that took us there.
However, there is another definition of the word redeem. It looks similar, but check closely. It also means, ‘to DO something that compensates for poor past performance or behaviour’. So in some cases we really do have the chance to give one of the greatest gifts we can. We can compensate. Not make the past poor actions go away, but at least make them a little less hurtful and harmful. Now that prospect should bring us to our knees literally, because this time is precious, and should not be squandered yet again. It should be grasped with both hands, because as the old song says, ‘you only hurt the ones you love’.
So, to your spouse or children or friends you have hurt by bad decisions, take a moment to redeem the lost time if you ever get the chance. No guarantees that it will make everything right, but if you do not, those bad decisions will always remain bad memories, and with no human redemption, but let’s not leave it on that note.
Isn’t it great that God treats us differently, because He always treats us in Grace. So although we deserve nothing from God, we get the greatest gift any father can give His child, and it doesn’t get any better than this verse in Romans 6:23: ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’. Yes, this really is the greatest gift!