Have you ever watched a person die?
After lying comatose for two days, my mom's eyes suddenly bolted wide open.
Her upward gaze was riveted on something far beyond anything in the room.
She never blinked.
Her feeble body gasped for air, yet seemed to suffocate on each new breath.
The hospice nurse told us that dying is as strenuous as birthing.
But she was wrong.
This wasn't about the struggle of a physical body.
This was about a soul's irrevocable destiny to exit the physical world and enter a spiritual one.
This was about stepping out of time and into eternity.
This encounter with eternity wrenched my heart with the memory of Mom's warning a few months before.
I had been caught up in the commotion of working, homeschooling kids and caring for a parent dying of cancer. It was exhausting and one overloaded day just overflowed into the next.
My mom cautioned me that if I didn't take time to stop and smell the roses I would regret it later.
Her prophecy was fulfilled when she wheezed her final breath and lay motionless with that zombie stare fixed on her face.
As I cast my final glance at her lifeless figure, the surge of regrets suddenly overwhelmed me with such unexpected force, I felt like I was the one who just died.
The memory of her death is unforgettable.
But I forget her warning almost daily.
I busy myself with the insignificant and neglect the sacred.
I honor the clock and the schedule's demands more than the hurting hearts that silently suffer in the shadows while waiting for me to stop chasing my tail.
You're just like me.
You put projects before people.
Admitting it is a painful blow to proud hearts with good intentions.
There's always "just one more" task to finish before you stop to smell the roses.
You promise "just a few more" minutes until you focus on those you love.
You deceive yourself by thinking your aspirations are noble when in fact, you're defrauding your most vital relationships.
Let's stop kidding ourselves and cheating others.
Let's start making the most of the time we have.
Time is not ours to waste, so join me in the journey to hold it dear and invest it wisely.
HOW FOOLS WASTE TIME
When dying, most people’s biggest deathbed regret is how they had spent their time while living.
If you’re honest, when you look back on the last year of your life, you see how you wasted more time than you care to admit.
Even if you didn't waste endless hours binge watching Netflix or getting in the last word, you still might have a fool's attitude about time management.
THE #1 TIME MANAGEMENT TRAP
The main time management trap you can fall into is assuming that because you scheduled your activities, you were managing time.
There’s so much more to time than how you schedule it.
Even if you’re a master at scheduling every hour of the day and make it to all your appointments on time, and don’t waste hours on the Internet, it doesn’t mean you spent time in the best possible way.
In fact, thinking a schedule is the answer to time management problems will only lead you to the trap of legalism. You think that as long as your life is ordered by the calendar and you complete your to-do list, you are right with God.
WHY YOU'LL NEVER SUCCEED AT TIME MANAGEMENT
Time cannot be managed. God is the creator and controller of time. He ordained how many hours, minutes and seconds are in a day. He also pre-determined the day you would be born, and the day you will die.
He permits interruptions, illness and irritations to invade your time. Instead of trying to manage your time, you need to discipline your mind to think biblically about time. You need wisdom to analyze and decide which activities are most important in God’s purpose for your life.
If you feared today would be your last, how would you choose to spend the day?
Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Our lives are but a vapor. How many moments have we wasted in being busy but not productive? Do you ever feel like you ran in circles all day with nothing to show for it?
The busy person can waste time by being so busy she doesn’t get proper rest. She is not managing her body according to God’s design and will burn out and become unproductive long before her life ends.
Or worse, how many moments are wasted in procrastination and avoiding the important? The lazy person is useless when she wastes time being idle. She doesn’t take time to set clear goals and drifts through her days with no compass to navigate her and at the end of the day she has accomplished nothing.
BALANCING TIME IS BOGUS
I have wasted too much time in both the busy but not productive, and the drifting and idle stages. When I feel burned out, I take time to “recover” only to discover I have no motivation and fall into just being lazy.
Many of us tend to go from one extreme to the other.
Is there a proper balance somewhere in between?
Who knows the best ways to utilize time?
Where do we find solutions for our so-called “time management” problems?
The Ultimate Source Of Wisdom
The Bible defines wisdom as:
Scripture provides wisdom for a variety of situations. There is wisdom for how to function in the basics (administration), as well as the conflicts (war) of day-to-day life in our troubled world.
There is wisdom to guide your relationships. This includes religion; how you relate to God; and ethics, how to deal with others.
WISDOM IS THE NEW TIME MANAGEMENT
Wisdom is the only time management tool that succeeds.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is.
Redeem means to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use. It requires making wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, specifically, in your relationship with God and others.
Just filling the moments with activity is not the same as spending time as an instrument of God and managing all He has placed under your care and in your path.
7 STEPS TO ESCAPE THE TIME MANAGEMENT TRAP
Biblical time management must be thought of as a system by which you determine how you plan to spend time. Time can be spent properly when it is invested, or wrongly, when it is wasted.
- To create your time management escape plan, you first need to pray for God’s wisdom.
- Then make a list of all the activities you are doing, or plan to do.
- Then apply biblical principles to each activity to decide if it is worth spending time on or not.
Analyze your activities with the goal to eliminate all the useless ones, so you will have more time available for the best ones. The best ones are those that serve others and glorify God.
- Remove or limit the activities that are distracting you (sports, Netflix , social media).
It’s not that watching a movie, working out at the gym or reading a novel are ungodly. Exercise, as well as some relaxation time, are both good for the body. But if you are spending time on those INSTEAD of your duties, or spending TOO MUCH TIME on them, they are wrong.
- Once you know which activities are most important, you need to set priorities, as well as limits.
The New Testament is filled with guidelines for setting priorities and limits as a means of glorifying God in our daily lives.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. God has given us everything we need to understand and follow His plan for us.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Ask yourself questions that relate to the exhortations given in scripture. Make sure you plan to spend time to fulfill God’s specific roles for you.
How are you using your spiritual gifts?
1 Peter 4:10
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Are you spending time building relationships?
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
How are you serving others?
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
What are you doing to grow your relationship with God?
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What are you doing to enrich your marriage?
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Are you spending enough time to train your kids?
Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
What things has God specifically called you to do?
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
- Evaluate regularly.
Life is not static. Things are changing in us and around us all the time. You should assess your list regularly, at least monthly.
For example, if you just had a baby, the baby is going to require more of your time and you need extra rest. You can’t make it to every social gathering now and shouldn’t try to.
You must keep pruning out the insignificant activities so energy can be used to advance the most meaningful ones.
You must look for areas where you are drifting off course and ask God for help in the areas where you are weak and prone to stray.
You may want to ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable in these areas.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Analyze your activities with the goal to eliminate all the useless ones, so you will have more time available for the best ones.
The best ones are those that serve others and glorify God.
How Wisdom Leads To Better Living
Start investing now.
Think of time the way you would money. It can be wasted or invested. And similar to financial investments, the sooner you start investing time, the bigger the benefit later.
Take some time today to filter your activities through God’s word and schedule His priorities into your plan.
Your schedule is only a plan.
Then keep all your plans in perspective or they will become harsh taskmasters. God will send unexpected interruptions into your life, which means your plans must always be open for change.
Don’t ever fall back into the trap of thinking you can manage time or that your schedule is your key to success, happiness and holiness. It is only a tool to help guide how you plan to spend your time.
A successful life will be productive.
A productive life is not perfect, but it is profitable. There will be visible improvement and something to show for all the time invested. And if you don’t have a perfectly spotless house but have a content family, then you probably have your priorities in proper order!
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.
WHAT EVERY CHRISTIAN OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT
SPENDING TIME THE WISE WAY
Imagine yourself on your deathbed and saying your final words to your loved ones.
Will you be saying, “Im sorry for……..?”
Or, “If only I had……….”
Wouldn’t you rather say, “I’m so thankful for the time we…….”?
Death is your irrevocable destiny.
Once your days are spent, they can never be reclaimed.
Start living now in such a way that you can die later without regrets!
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