A saying goes something like this: a checkbook and a watch can reveal where a person’s heart is at. That is, how a person spends their money and how they spend their time will show where their priorities truly lie. It is on the latter, time, I would like for us to consider. Recently in my life, time has become an increasingly precious gift. Balancing three jobs, which involves my vocation in pastoral ministry, and dealing with a full-time school workload, time can be demanding. The mantra “busy but blessed” is my current response to anyone who asks how I am doing. It is on this note of busyness I would like to elaborate.
In our culture, busyness seems to be a thing we pride ourselves in. We think to be busy is to be productive. Yet, the two do not always go hand-in-hand. This begs the question, “How can we know if we are being productive and not merely busy?” While this is by no means exhaustive, one important question to ponder is this: What are you spending your time doing? If we spend all our time on meaningless things, we may be able to brag about our busyness but there will be no lasting impact on our work. It will be all-for-not.
What this all boils down to is evaluating our lives and actions: are we making the best use of our time? This implies that there are some matters and issues which may be good but are ultimately not the best use of our time. How can we know if we are making the best use of our time? The Apostle Paul, speaking of the new life Christians have in Christ, exhorts the Ephesian church, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). Learning the best use of time is found in our walk, displayed in wisdom, and informed by the will of God. To put it another way, learning what it means to use our time productively means we must be discerning with what we engage our time in. We need to ask how our walk with Christ impacts our time. The gospel should shape how we spend our time. One example of this is in the area of relationships. In the next section of Ephesians, Paul describes what it looks like to be filled with the Spirit and he speaks on marriage and family (Ephesians 5:18-6:14). We live in a fallen and sinful world so we need the wisdom of the Word to equip us to live well. To make the best use of our time calls for us to invest on what will have an eternal impact over what is temporary. Indeed, understanding the will of God revealed in the Word of God will keep us from being foolish and will give us the wisdom to make the best use of time. Let the Word of God guide you in how you spend your time.