The American educator Horace Mann once placed this ad in a paper: “LOST, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.”
Time is something that can’t be recovered. Since this is so, how should we use what we’ve been given? The Apostle Paul tells us,
“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)
I want to offer four questions to help us assess how we use our time.
First, does the way I use my time demonstrate a love for God and others? Those are the two greatest commandments – love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40). Does my calendar reflect those priorities?
Second, am I seeking to glorify God in all that I do? 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” My main purpose in completing a task, or having a conversation, shouldn’t be to get something off my to do list. It should be to glorify God.
Third, am I making the best use of time? I’m tempted to believe I can do what I want as long as it isn’t immoral. For example, if Christians are allowed to watch sports, then it must be OK for me to watch this game tonight. But is that the best thing I can be doing? By the way, sometimes the answer is yes!
Fourth, am I able to rest? Circumstances can make this hard (e.g. young children at home). But making the best use of my time doesn’t automatically enter me in a relentless rat race of activity. After all, God never commands us to fill every waking moment with activity, but He does command us to rest one day every week.
Finally, consider how the gospel frees us to use our time well. Ephesians 5:16 can also be translated as “redeeming the time.” We’re enabled to redeem our time because Jesus has redeemed us. He has redeemed us so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5) and be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).
2020 has likely been very different than you expected. But let’s resolve, by God’s grace, to make the best use of this time He’s given us.
Pastor Steve Brown