A Time Decision

 

time decisionIn the words of those 1960’s philosophers, The Animals, “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want.” The life philosophy championed by them and others in this decade was “I’ll spend my life or time the way I think best.” Is the most satisfying and profitable use of our time found in doing what we want?

Time is a valuable commodity. It is the essence of life and once spent is forever gone. When born into this world each of us are assigned a limited amount of time (Psalm 90:10). None of us knows when our allotment is used up.

Perhaps this is why the Psalmist asked God to teach him how to budget his time. To live well, we must answer a question about time: to whom does it belong? Is it my time or God’s? Let’s study three areas to find the answer.

 

A theology of time

If time belongs to you once you are born then you are free to do whatever you want with it. This is a humanistic view that essentially eliminates the idea of God and His accountability for our use of time. How does that view work for you over the course of your life? Does it give you a big enough purpose to live for? One reality everyone discovers as they age is how fast time goes and how quickly death comes. The brevity of our time on earth and the absence of life after death would seem to make our time here without meaning.

Scripture tells us time is a construct of God. It had a beginning and will have an ending. God stepped forward from eternity and created time, the universe and man (Genesis 1.1). God gave us the gift of life by breathing into the first man the breath of life and he became a living being (Genesis 2.7). When it comes to time, God is the owner of it for He created both time and us.

However, there is another reason God owns our time. It is because He is our Redeemer. We have been bought with a price: the blood of His Son. We no longer belong to ourselves but to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Salvation means we recognize His Lordship over our time. We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to do His will within time (Romans 10.13, 12.12).

 

The stewardship of time

If God owns our time then we are the managers of it and must some day give an account to God for how we used our time. Paul tells us we are to be “Redeeming the time for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5. 16). This means we are to make the most of our time and not waste it. This is part of God’s redemptive plan for our life. It is in this process of restoring God’s image in the realm of time that we become fruitful for God.

Someone has said, “The greatest ability is availability.” God designs each of us with abilities, and passion to fulfill our purpose in His kingdom. However, none of this is useable by God until we make it available to Him within this construct of time. Availability is the work that proves the reality of our faith. It proves we see God as the owner of time.

Jesus accomplished His life purpose in 33 years. He was able to say, “It is finished.” How did he accomplish so much in such a short time? Here are some practical steps to make the most of our time. Eliminate time wasters whether they are people, things or activities. Do not allow the good to become the enemy of the best. Another is to beware of busyness. Being busy is a badge of honor in our culture. However, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Stewardship of life means learning to budget time and live within our time means. God can make this a reality as we prioritize reflective time with Him. Two final thoughts in this area; live for the audience of One and develop an eternal value system. Focus only on pleasing God and seeing life through His eyes.

 

Gain time by giving it to God

We cannot manufacture more time for our life nor do we need to. Our challenge is to weed out what we don’t need to be spending time on. This is easier said than done but not impossible. God has a way of multiplying what is given to Him including time. God can bring people into our life that we need to see. He can accomplish more than one thing at a time when He works on our behalf. He can make things go more efficiently, remove obstacles and change hearts to help us. The blessing of God is often about watching God work on our behalf in more ways than we can even realize.

No one has ever come up short in time as a result of “giving time to God.” One day time will be no more and we will live in the eternal. Until then there is no need to live the rat race of stress constantly feeling, “I just don’t have enough time.” Take time for God, realize there is no such thing as “my time” it is all God’s. You will then find time takes care of itself and God’s gift of time will be sufficient.

 

Dr. John Hawkins, Sr. runs Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach along with his son John Jr. He can be reached by visiting gatewaycounseling.com.

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