Dear precious sisters in Messiah:
Every minute of every day is either wasted or wisely invested. Since the Bible contains over 400 verses about time, I believe it would be safe to say that time management is import to God. In fact, Scripture reveals that how we manage our time is a spiritual discipline. We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. This week, let us take a look at some of the principles of Managing Our Time Wisely – God’s Way, the message of our Sisterhood Love Letter.
God created time and gives it to us as stewards. If we don’t wisely use our time, we will find that we have little time to do what is important. Time is a precious gift, and we each have a responsibility for how we spend the time that God has given us. Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses asking God to “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom” (verse 12). Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use wisely. If we use our time inappropriately or ineffectively, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Time that is used unwisely reveals our weaknesses. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to set aside daily time to sit at the feet of Yeshua.
Let us imagine for a moment a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever portion of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Each of us has such a bank, its name is TIME. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds; every night it writes off as lost whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. Most people live by the clock, because time is important to all of us. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”
There is an entire field of study called time management. In almost every business in America, consultants are hired to teach busy executives how to better manage their time. In my very humble opinion, time management is a misleading concept. We cannot truly manage time, as we are not able to delay it, speed it up, save it or lose it – time is under God’s domain. No matter what we do, time keeps moving forward at the same rate. Therefore, the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves in how we best use our time. The Bible uses another word. Instead of managing our time, it speaks of “redeeming” the time. In Ephesians 5:14-15, Paul cautions us to, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.” The phrase to “walk circumspectly,” means to be constantly looking for every opportunity to invest our time wisely.
I was reminded this morning about a story on time management. A large aerospace company engaged the services of a time management expert. After delivering his two hour seminar, he concluded with a visual aid. He placed a large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group of employees. Next, he placed seven large rocks into the jar until it was full. He asked, “Is the jar full?” Everyone nodded in the affirmative. Then he took a cup of pebbles and filled up the jar until they filled the rim. Once again, he asked, “Is the jar full?” No one responded. At that point, he poured a cup of fine sand into the jar. Again he asked, “Is the jar completely full now?” A few of the employees nodded in the affirmative. Now the expert proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. He concluded his demonstration by saying, “Now, the jar is full. What does this lesson say about time management?” Hands were raised and everyone agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks in first, they will never fit in. Each of you must figure out what the big rocks are for you.” What are the big rocks in your life? Is it setting aside time for God and giving time to your loved ones? The lesson to be learned is if we don’t put those big rocks in first, someone else or something else will fill up the space in your jar, your jar of life. Every moment is a gift from God that must be managed wisely. In James 4:14, we are cautioned, “Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
The following are three basic principles in managing your time more wisely:
Set Priorities – Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” In essence, we either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them.
Schedule Priorities – There is a right time and a right way to carry out our priorities. Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, “For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight.” We must schedule time for solitude every day, spending time in God’s Word and in prayer.
Stick to Priorities – In Ephesians 5:16, Paul teaches us to “make the most of every opportunity.” Every challenge will either affirm or destroy our priorities. Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.
One day, we will stand before the Father and give an account of how we invested our time. This week, I encourage you to examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God; make a new commitment to invest your time wisely; and pray for God’s wisdom to live a balanced life.
Sitting at the feet of Yeshua,