Have you ever felt like you don’t have enough time in the day to do all of the things you need to do? I know I do. Sometimes I wish the days were longer, or that we didn’t require sleep. Yet, every time I I lay my head down or take some time to rest I can’t help but thank Jesus for how wonderful it feels. In our society, busy is a way of living. There’s nothing wrong with being busy, but it is what we are choosing to be busy with that makes the difference. Time is a lot like money. We always wish we had more. But, little do we realize that those who are rich with time are like those who are rich with money; they simply know how to manage it well. I once heard someone say that when we think there is not enough time in the day we are criticizing how God created time. But God, who is perfect, gave us exactly 24 hours a day, with a need of an average of 7 hours of sleep, and He called it good. And if God called it good then that means we have exactly the right amount of time to do what it is that HE has called us to do. Perhaps it isn’t a matter of needing more time, but rather a matter of managing our time well.
Today, I want to share some practical ways we can manage our time well:
KNOW GOD’S WILL
“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)
Time management has a lot to do with priorities. When we choose to prioritize well we will find that our time is being spent well. Therefore, it all has to start with knowing God’s will. First and foremost, we know that He created us to have a relationship with us. Therefore, it is safe to say that our relationship with God should be number one priority. This means managing our time in a way that puts Him first in our life. That includes reading our Bible, praying, worshipping, and attending church regularly. The scripture above tells us to know God’s will, and prior to that it tells us to walk circumspectly. Circumspectly, according to Webster, means thinking carefully about possible risks before doing or saying something. I think this gives us permission (and advice) on the fact that we should think and pray about new responsibilities and tasks before taking them on.We are called to be wise with our time, redeeming the time, and considering how our actions might affect outcomes.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90.12, NKJV)
The last thing I want to do here on the earth is waste time. I don’t know why, but the fact that we only have a certain amount of time to live out God’s call on our life is so real to me. I don’t want to get to heaven and find out thatmissed out on something God had for me or that I didn’t fulfill God’s plan for my life. Every day is a news opportunity, it is also an opportunity we will never get back. Every passing second is one that we will never get to live again. How are we living it? How are we spending each and every single day? The way we spend each day will make up our life. What do we want life to look like when we look back? When we start with knowing God’s will through reading His Word we will have a heart of wisdom. A heart that can lead us to walk circumspectly on a daily basis so that we can manage our time and in return our days and life well.
MAKE THE BEST USE OF TIME
“Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time.” (Colossians 4.5, ESV)
I love how the New Living Translation puts the second part of this scripture. It says “and make the most of every opportunity.” Most people are sitting around waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for their big break, promotion, a ministry role to land on their lap. I don’t think that is what this scripture is talking about. I think this scripture is telling us to make the most out of right now. Whatever that may look like. That is how you make the best use of time. You learn to be in the right now, and to make the best of it. For example, when you are at dinner or out with friends, make the best use of that time by being present. When you are serving people, make the best use of that time by focusing on people instead of focusing on the task. Never let a task override the fact that it is being done to serve people. So when somebody needs to speak, listen, when someone needs a helping hand, help.
Take the time to stop and think about things circumspectly. Take inventory of all the things you have going on in your life right now. Grab a piece of paper and make three columns. On one column right down all of the things that are in line with God’s will and make the best use of your time. In the second column right down all of the things you currently do that are not a part of God’s will to get rid of. In the third column, write down the things you know you should be doing. Things that perhaps you know God has been asking you to do but you haven’t. When you fill your days with God things you will find that time is of plenty. It’s not a matter of having more; it’s a matter of how we manage what we have been given.
Bible translations used: New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.