I having something that I am thinking about in my mind right now, and I want you to guess what it is. Ready? Here are some clues. This thing keeps going on and on, and will continue to do so as long as this universe exists. I have the same amount of it today as I did the day I was born, but I am closer to running out of it now than I was then. This particular item does not enter into eternity, but without it, life on earth would be quite different. Lastly, this thing waits for no man, but keeps on going. Have you figured out what I am discussing? I am referring to time, it is valuable, you have a set amount of it, and it must not be wasted. The amount of it that you have left to do this work is reduced every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute, and yes, even every second.
So, how well do you manage your time? Do you think about it often throughout the day, or are you like me and have to focus on being intentional to remember to use it wisely? I’m not really sure I’ve ever met an individual who just got time management, naturally, I tend to think that we are all-natural time wasters. I really don’t feel the need to spend the time proving that point by making a logical case for it, I think it might be better to ask you a few questions regarding time management here so you can examine it for yourself personally, then get into some Scriptural wisdom that we can apply.
First, let’s suppose that someone 200 years from now decides to write a biography about you. I don’t know the reason, maybe you invented something, or maybe you’re a well-known author, or preacher, or teacher. From a public persona you look absolutely fantastic, but as soon as they begin researching you for the biography, they are able to gain access to all of your social media accounts. I’m talking about every single private and public message you have ever sent, every text, every email, every facebook and Instagram post, and every tweet. What would they find? Would they discover that you were wise and intentionally used these platforms to invest in other people for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or, would they find out that you spent time maybe in gossip? Perhaps in looking and commenting about things that you never should have? Would they find someone who carefully and wisely invested every minute of use on these resources, or someone who has been practicing frivolity? What if they could speak with those who live with you, would they attest to the fact that you use your time in the best manner?
Here’s another question, this one is deep and probably going to require some thought. On the day that you are on your deathbed, will you be glad that you invested the time that has been given to you in the manner that you currently do, or will you wish that you had done things in a different way? Unfortunately, I as the writer of this post cannot answer that for you, all I can do is ask the question, and implore you to contemplate it. But, it is an important question is it not? I would rather ask it now and fix anything that needs to be corrected than ask it when I have 5-minutes to live and therefore don’t have the time to go back and redo things. With those questions being asked, let’s now get into what the Bible proclaims about time and using it wisely.
I think the first step to take is that you must admit that you have no more control over the day that you die than you did the day that you were born. These are fixed days that are under the sovereign control of God. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Your days are numbered, you cannot add one second to the appointed day of your death, and you cannot detract one either. Knowing that fact, we must now begin to view our days attentively, understanding that we have an allotted amount of time given to us to accomplish the work that God has for us to do that we may bring Him glory. So, in light of the biblical teaching about time, how do we start to manage and utilize the time given to us?
First, We must all begin to truly count each and every day, even each and every second as a precious gift from the Lord. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).” The phrase “number our days” in this verse doesn’t mean to literally count up the sum total of your days, it means to value each and every day as precious and not waste one of them.
Secondly, Each one of us must strive towards intentionality. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Ephesians:
“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
We absolutely must make the best use of the time and not just a good use of the time. This point means that when you have the option between choosing a good thing, or a better thing, then you must strive to select the best one all the time.
Thirdly, it is wise to have counselors that you can go to and ask about how to allocate your time. The Proverbs have much to say about wise counsel and getting advice, I would recommend that you read them. But, it is imperative that you have someone else look at how you utilize your time because they will be able to give an unbiased evaluation of your time. Asking for counsel and wisdom from good sources is tremendously beneficial in this area.
When he was around his late teens or early twenties, Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions that would summarize the way he resolved to live his life. I finish by quoting him here:
“Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”
“Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.”
“Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”