Important Versus Urgent

November 14, 2023

“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

Did you know that there is an unseen battle for your time? Ephesians 5:16 encourages believers to make the best use of time because the days are evil. But what does that mean? The phrase, “making the best use of the time,” is an accounting term. It means to recover from the power of another, or to buy for one’s own use…literally to redeem the time that God has given you. God wants you to get the full value out of your time. He wants you to squeeze all the good you can out of every moment of your life.

The key to this is found in the life of Jesus. This biblical principle of redeeming time comes out of the way Christ lived His own life and spent His own time. While fully God, Jesus was also fully man, which meant he lived under the constraints of a 24-hour day. He had limited time just like you do. So how did He “find the time” to do what God had called Him to do? The answer is found in this phrase: Important versus urgent.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” Jesus prioritized what was important over what was urgent. He didn’t allow life’s urgencies to control how He spent His days. How do you decide if something is urgent or important? Urgent tasks demand your time right now, despite the long-term effects. An important task, however, will always contribute to your long-term goals even if it doesn’t require immediate action. 

Jesus knew that if the important didn’t get on His calendar first, the urgent would dominate His time. We must learn from Christ’s example if we desire to redeem our time like He did. Why does God instruct us to redeem the time? Because “the days are evil,” according to Ephesians 5:16. The word evil in this verse means, “full of annoyances and hardships.” In other words, the days are full of urgencies that may or may not be important.

Are you making wise use of your time? Don’t let today’s urgencies control you. Look beyond your circumstances and see the bigger picture.  

Father, help me to discern what is important from what is urgent. I want to live wisely today. Thank you for the gift of another day to know You and make You known. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Topics: Wisdom

Bible Reference

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.