TIME–YOUR SERVANT OR MASTER?

Time is a gift. I thank God for it regularly. He gives us all the time we need today to accomplish what He assigns to us. The more we appreciate this treasure the better we will use it. Time is our servant, not our lord. We control time; it does not control us.

People who say, “I don’t have enough time,” may be wrong. They should say instead, “I have time to do what God wants me to do.” God would not give us tasks that are impossible to complete. If they are not doable, it is because we have taken on too much or are misusing the time allotted to us.

Time is like money; it makes a great servant and a terrible lord. When time rules over us, it abuses us, just like money. When we use money in appropriate ways, to pay the bills, to bless people in need, to give to our church, we are taking charge of our finances. When we make it our lord by worshiping it or hoarding it, we get imprisoned, manipulated, controlled by it. The same with time.

Interesting–the person who says, “I don’t have enough time” often ends up misusing time, wasting it, not getting the things done he had planned. He fulfills his own words, and he proves that he doesn’t have enough time by squandering some. The person who says, “I thank God for the time He has given me today,”  is at peace, and he discovers that God’s management of the universe is effective, because he too is ruling over his schedule rather than let it rule him. He takes charge of his day, his assignments, his finances. What is not finished is rolled over into a new day.

I think of the people in my former church whose lives were always on overload. They didn’t have good boundaries, so they took on more than they should have. They complained of having too much to do and not enough time to do it, which kept them from doing what they could do more effectively. Lack of peace also meant lack of concentration and efficiency. They might have learned it from their parents, who modeled for them, “This is the way life is. It is stressful–all the time. People expect too much from me, and I never have enough time to do what I want to do.” It is passed on “successfully” from generation to generation, an outlook foreign to the Scriptures but all too common.

Some even think that being overly busy shows spirituality. Wrong!  Picture God today ruling over His universe. Jesus said that He works daily because His Father does as well (John 5:17). He rules with peace and efficiency, not with stress. We are to take our queue from a restful Ruler and live the same way, using time and money to serve us well. We have what we need to get the job done. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin” (Matthew 6:28). “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

2 comments on “TIME–YOUR SERVANT OR MASTER?

  1. DANIEL STORVICK says:

    This piece on time reminds me of a brief visit you and I had many years ago when we attended a conference together in Phoenix. Right in the middle of the conference—maybe when you were speaking—I had a daytime nightmare: I stood before the throne of judgment; all I could see was God’s feet and legs (kind of like the Lincoln Memorial). In my hands I held all my diplomas, certificates, resumé, list of good works, etc.—all just RAGS! I couldn’t even lift my head as I heard God say three horrible words: “Not good enough.” I was near tears when I reported this to you. Your response was Spirit-inspired. Before you prayed for me, you paraphrased Zephaniah 3:17: “He will rejoice over you with gladness . . . He will delight in you with singing.” “GOD DELIGHTS IN YOU!”
    You know exactly what I mean when I say that I was raised under the unbiblical burden of, “Do more for the Lord and He will be pleased with you.” I still battle that ingrained attitude. But now at least I pray, “Lord, show me what YOU want me to do, how YOU want me to spend the time you’ve given to me.” Thanks Paul!!

    • Dan, I’ve enjoyed every connection God has given us down through the years. Hasn’t been one for a while. Hope that changes soon, one way or the other! Thanks for sharing. You’re a joy to me!

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