“Time is short!” 1 Corinthians 7:29
If we were taking a walk and came across someone who was throwing away money and nice jewelry we would think that they were out of their minds! We would never consider throwing such things into the trash, because, to us, they are valuable.
Anytime something is in short supply or rare it becomes valuable. I dont think we really get the idea that our time is short. We say it, we even affirm it, but we don’t live like it. J.R. Miller said, “Time is made up of golden minutes—not one of which we should allow to be wasted!” We tend to go on with our lives as though we have endless days left in our little lives wasting these golden minutes in pretty much every area of our life.
Here are five common ways we waste the precious time God gives us.
1. Wasting time in our parenting
As stewards of our children we are called to train them up in the knowledge of God. We are charged with teaching them the word of God (Deut. 6) We need to read to them, explain to them and pray with them. This takes time. It is easy to let our “everyday life” get in the way, but teaching our children about God should be our everyday life. This does not mean that we need to spend hours each day formally training our children, but it means that we should make it a regular habit to slow down and read the Bible together. Time goes by fast and children grow quickly. Make the most of the time you have with them.
2. Wasting time in our marriage
Having a good and healthy marriage takes time and intentionality. Don’t wait until life get’s less busy or less stressful to go on dates. Don’t wait until the kids get older to have real conversations. Don’t wait until you are less tired to pray together. Make the time to do these things now. You don’t know how much time your spouse has left on this earth. It could be many more years it could be just a few days. Make every moment count with your spouse.
3. Wasting time in our spiritual life
We tend to have this subconscious belief that we have a lot of time left to learn about God and to read his word. We will get serious in our pursuit of God after the errand are run, after baseball season and after the kids go to school. We assume that we will see tomorrow even though we have no idea what tomorrow holds. Knowing the God who made and saved us should be the main goal of our life. Knowing God is what will allow us to be joyful in hard circumstances, to be thankful for all things, to be content with what God has for our lives. Cultivating our faith it what will allow us to suffer well when life gets hard and to love our neighbors as Christ taught us.
4. Wasting time in our homes
As a reborn people have also been recreated for good works (Eph. 2:10 ) This includes those jobs that we find exciting as well as those tasks that seem mundane. Since we don’t deserve anything but God’s just condemnation, everything we have is grace upon grace. This includes our homes, the laundry that is never ending, the dishes that need to be washed, dinners that need to be cooked and the general cleaning of the home and yard. It is so easy to appear busy without getting much done. To make list after list of all that needs to be accomplished without actually doing any of it.
Please hear me when I say that our homes do NOT need to look like a picture in a magazine or something we find on Pintrest. But we should make sure that we are not wasting the time God has given us when we are at home.
5. Wasting time in our suffering
Suffering comes in various shapes and sizes, from tragic events, to chronic illnesses to simply having a hard week, sleepless nights, financial worries or relationships issues. Everyones experiences suffering to one degree or another. Let us not waste it.
For the Christian trials have the potential to produce a lot of good in our lives. James 1 tells us that trials produce character and perseverance. But this really only happens if we use our time of suffering well. We must cling to Jesus, live in his word and practice suffering well by learning how Jesus suffered and imitate him. In this way we are making the most out of difficult situations, our faith will grow and we honor God.
“What you make of your life—you must make in a few years at the most; for the human span is short”
J. R. Miller
We waste time because we believe we have it in abundance. We believe it won’t run out. But wasting time also says that we believe that God owes us. That he owes us tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.
God owes us nothing, but he has graciously given us today. So let’s make the most of it because “this is the day the Lord has made”.