Thursday, March 7, 2013

Time Management as an Act of Worship


I recently spoke to a small group of young singles at my church about time management. As I planned what I would say, my mind raced to all the apps and calendars and organizational tools I use in my own life. In planning to speak to others, God spoke to my heart and revealed some really great truths to me. Here are a few:

In any given week, if we allow...

-8 hours a day for sleep (very generous!)

-3 hours a day for meals and talking

-10 hours a day for full time school or work and travel on fivedays (8 hrs + 2 hr commute)


...then from the 168 hours we began with, we have thirty-something hours left for the living of life. That's less than two full days! What that tells me is that time is a precious and limited resource. Think about it: It's not renewable, and we can't get it back, and we can't hoard it. All we can do is spend it. And just like how we spend our money, how we spend our time is very telling of our priorities, of what we value and what we truly think about God.

So is there a biblical precedent for how we spend our time? Actually, yes. The Word has much to say about how we spend time. As I began to search the scriptures, here is what I found: 



Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it...
As a believer, we should acknowledge that our time really belongs to God. He doesn't owe it to you. Every day that we wake up and breathe in the fresh morning air, we should be praising Him, asking Him how, as His steward, we should be using it. We should be aware of how we spend it, cognizant of who gave it to us, and aware that it is not limitless. We should also be aware that God has a plan for our time, as is referenced in Galatians 4:4.


Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce.
As a believer, we are to bring God the first part of all we are blessed with. If time is given as a resource, then if falls within this realm. Do we bring Him the firstfruits of it? Or does He only get 'fit in' around all the things we have to do first? 


Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.
As a believer, we should make the most of every opportunity to do kingdom work. At my job, which is in marketing, I always have a lot on my plate. But I never turn a person away, I never miss a chance to invest in someone personally, to take the opportunity to be a light, an encouragement, a confidante. Those meetings are God-ordained moments of ministry, and we'd better be ready when they arise.


Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men...
James 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”
As a believer, we should work hard at every task, and we should not procrastinate. This is a particularly convicting point for me. Sometimes I forget that just because it's not ministry-related doesn't mean that I can't make a ministry out of it. I used to work in a restaurant, which I found to be one of the least rewarding jobs I've done. I had to constantly remind myself of the value of learning to live in 'servant mode.' It makes me think, though, of that beautiful Charles Spurgeon quote, "Had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you find yourself, divine Love would have placed you there." Sometimes we must remind ourselves of that and just be the best little server, account rep, mom, farmer, or whatever God has called you to do, that you can possibly be. Sometimes your pulpit is your consistent, godly standard of doing all things.  


Ecclesiastes 3:1 (and following) There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven
A time to work, yes. And a time to play, absolutely. And then there's the whole rest thing. That one is a commandment of God! He really emphasizes rest in His Word. As a believer, we should understand that our time should be balanced – fun, downtime, hard work, is all important. For those of us overachievers who guilt ourselves over every moment lost-fret not. God has built in time for you to have fun. You need it. He wants you to experience joy. Or maybe you find yourself on the other side of that-if you're all play and no work, that's not godly either. Balance in all things, Beloved.  


And here's the one above all the rest: Matthew 6:33: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
As a believer, our first priority should be seeking God. No excuses. If we begin our day by giving him the first part of it, everything else is much easier to get prioritized in to the 'must do' category and the 'should do' category and the 'can do later' category. If we begin each day with the prayer "Lord, what do you want me to do today," and forget about tomorrow and five years from now and your own agenda, you can begin to dwell in the freedom of living a Holy Spirit-led life. And you will finally be able to take a breath!  Try as you might, there is NO app, no free printable calendar, that can organize and arrange your life like God Almighty.

Questions for Thought:

Is how your spend your time an act of worship?

Is how you spend your time biblical, based on what you've just read?

What does your time say about you? your values?

What does it say about your faith? Your view of God?

Who do you need to start spending more time with?


The Love Does Challenge



 
A friend of mine gave me a great book by Bob Goff called Love Does. In it are lots of short stories  about how through actively doing things, he began to become acquanited with who God is. Great book. In one chapter, he shares how he quits something every Thursday. What a novel idea, to quit one thing every week that gets in the way of Matthew 6:33. This gives the Holy Spirit the freedom to reorder your life on a regular basis. We can quit things that are bad for us, addictions, things that are not becoming of a godly person. For example, after much prodding from my husband, I finally gave up watching a television show that, while it wasn't particularly inappropriate or explicit, it just wasn't very glorifying or uplifting. It wasn't the best use of my time, and it dealt with supernatural content that was not holy in nature. I was innocently just trying to take my mind off of all things real, but in the end, I realized it was interfering with my thoughts and it wasn't conforming to my life standard of Philippains 4:8. We can even quit things that are good, just not where we need to have our focus at the moment. As an example, I recently had to make a conscious effort to step back from a ministry in which I had been a very active member. Nothing was wrong, it's just that I find myself these days in a new season of life, with new opportunities to mentor and teach new audiences, like you. And so, I stepped away, leaving it in God's very capable hands.
 
 
As God leads, I ask you to take this challenge. Evaluate your life and quit something as an act of worship, to honor Him, to give Him control.

Blessings, friends!


1 comment:

  1. Great post Amanda! Your writing is insightful and thought provoking! Keep pressing on!
    Bithiah~ :)

    ReplyDelete

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