That brings us to the next point. What does it mean to redeem our time? Let’s say you cut out the coupon on the back of a cereal box for the fantastic toy that they were offering. (Don’t look at me that way. You know you have thought of doing it!) And one day after school you realized that it was about to expire. You had let time get away to get your very own “super-sensation, spiraling silly sucker.” Now recognizing the error of your ways and the loss of time, you spring into action. You begin to prevail upon the nearest person to drive you to the supermarket so that you might use this coupon. Why all this trouble? Because if you don’t redeem the coupon then you will lose its value.
Time is the same way. If you don’t use it properly, you lose its value. It can slip away. And soon you regret not redeeming it earlier. Rather than fill your life with things of true value, you allow your life to be filled with things that cause you trouble and pain. And then you start building regrets. You don’t have to try. Matter of fact, not trying is the best way to waste your life away on things of no value!
The eight-word wonder is not the only time this phrase ‘redeeming the time’ is used. It is used again in Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” There are people in your life that have the same problem that you do—they don’t know what to do with their time. Like addicts, they get together and waste themselves. The prodigal son had a lot of friends to help him waste his “substance.” His substance was his time and money. And when those were gone, so were his friends.