The value of time

(Letters of John Newton)

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

The value of time must be taken into the account. Time is a precious talent, and our Christian profession opens a wide field for the due improvement of it. Much of it has been already lost—and therefore we are exhorted to redeem it.

Many things which custom pleads for, will not be suitable to a Christian, for this one reason—that they are not consistent with the simplest notion of the redemption of time. It is generally said—that we need relaxation. I allow it in a sense—the Lord Himself has provided it; and because our spirits are too weak to be always upon the wing in meditation and prayer, He has appointed to all men—the cares and toils of life.

And when everything of this sort in each person's situation is properly attended to, if the heart is in a right state—spiritual concerns will present themselves, as affording the noblest, sweetest, and most interesting relaxation from the necessary toils of life. On the other hand, secular work will be the best relaxation and unbending of the mind from pious exercises. Between the two, perhaps there ought to be but little mere leisure time. A life, in this sense divided between God and the world, is desirable, when one part of it is spent in retirement, seeking after and conversing with Him whom our souls love; and the other part of it employed in active services for the good of our family, friends, the church, and society, for His sake. Every hour which does not fall in with one or other of these views, I apprehend is lost time.

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

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We have published these insightful letters of John Newton:

The Christian and the world

The history of mankind