Don't waste time, Redeem the time
If I were to ask you, “what’s more valuable, money or time?” What would you say? “They are both valuable, but time is so much more pressure and you only get a certain amount?” How are we using it? Are we using it to glorify God, or are we in the race to get more money?
James warns us of the preciousness of life:
“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
Let’s talk about how we can make the best use of our time.
During the early months of the pandemic my husband and I, like everyone else, found ourselves with much more time on our hands. It was shocking to see how much time we spent just going from place to place. We both worked in busy uptown Charlotte, so each morning we drove to the park and rode the train to work then walked to the office. After work we walked to the train, rode it to our car then drove home. All of a sudden our commute was not a factor and there were 2 hours back in our day. The gym was closed so we worked out at home. That's another hour or two back. Some days I would leave home at 6 AM and not return until 6 or 7 PM between commuting, working, going to the gym and maybe stopping at the store to pick up something to cook. It was a race; then we went to sleep and did it all over again. I can’t imagine doing all of that now that I am a mother. I have learned so much since that day the world stopped in 2020, but the 2 biggest things are: never take time with loved ones for granted and be careful how you spend your time. In Ephesians, we read about redeeming the time.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (5:15-16 NKJV).
Dean and I used this scripture a lot now that we are parents. We do not have as much free time as we once had so we have to redeem the time. When Nico goes down for a nap or to bed for the night we do all the things we couldn’t do while he was awake—whether it be house work, daily scriptures reading, or another task. When you have a short window to accomplish several tasks you really do not want to waste a single minute. If you are reading this, I plead with you to have this mindset in everyday life. We are here to know Christ and make him know in every thing that we do (Matthew 28:16-20). How can we do that if we waste hours watching silly videos on tik tok or Instagram? How can we please God if all of our time is spent chasing more money and not investing in our families and relationships? How can we raise believing children if our first resort is to turn on tv instead of engaging with them?
Satan is busy and, if we allow it, he will use our free time as his playground. Peter warns us in 1 Peer 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Being intentional about my time has always been hard for me. I am not lazy, on the contrary. I have always been one to keep myself very busy. Always on the go so when I do have free time I like to binge watch tv, scroll on social media, or waste time in other ways. Now, this is not to say that we should not take time for ourselves to relax. Alone time is important, take a long walk or talk on the phone catching up with a friend. However, we need to be intentional with our time. Used in the right way social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family; it can even be used as a means for evangelism, but we all know we have been trapped in the scroll. The scroll that was meant to be a couple of minutes but turned into a half hour or more. So, as I typically do, let’s get practice. How can we waste less time and use the time we have here on earth to be pleasing to God?
Make a schedule and stick to it. I am not an organized person by nature, so if I do not make notes to myself I will forget to do certain things. Having a schedule and to-do list in my secular job is the only thing keeping me on track. I have translated that to my personal life as of late. I get up at the same time everyday, do my reading and devotional at the same time, work out, work, cook, etc. During the week, our home runs like a well oiled machine. It was not always this way, but it has helped me tremendously and it is great for my mental and physical well being. Always remember to be flexible even if you have a schedule, we must leave the door open for what God has for us (Proverbs 16:9).
Meditate on Jesus and how he spent his time. While on earth our Lord and Savior had to live as a man. He had to eat and sleep like everyone else, but he always spent a great deal of time praying (Matthew 26:36-39). You can never spend enough time in prayer. Build your prayer life by setting time aside to pray. Really treat it as a sacred time to speak with God Almighty (Matthew 6:6).
Watch your surroundings (1 Corinthians 15:34). Certain people can be distractions in trying to be more intentional in your time. Find ways to connect more with like minded people. Use those bonds who confide in each other and strengthen one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Extend the grace of God to yourself (Romans 3:24). I often get down on myself for wasting time or not spending enough time with my son, but if the Lord allows me to wake up the next day, that is another day to get better. As an athlete, my coaches always stressed that when we stepped on the court for practice it was time to work to get better. That is how I approach my walk with God. If we walk in the light his grace does not run out (1 John 1:7). Every day we can wake up with that hope. We strive to be better each day knowing if we fall we can get up and try again.
Using our time wisely and intentionally is a great way to be wise and avoid the evil tricks of the devil.