Using Our Time Wisely

Dear Friends,

Do you ever wake up and feel overwhelmed at all you need to accomplish this day?  Or do you get to the end of your day and feel like you've wasted the time?

I know I can often feel like that, and I know there's so much more for me to learn when it comes to using my time wisely - in work, rest and play.

Psalm 23 has been in my thoughts a great deal these past few weeks and I've spent time meditating on just one phrase or sentence at a time. 

It was while I was meditating on Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need." (NLT) that I realised God had given me all the time I need for each and every day.  His gift to you and me is time, but it's up to us how we use what he has given us.  The psalmist writes in Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom."  (VOICE)

I'm conscious that I can waste my time on things, that while not necessarily bad for me, are not that beneficial.  Such as the time I spend on social media or playing an addictive game on my mobile phone, or watching television.

Paul writes to the Corinthians "All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]." 1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP)

I can be so easily distracted from what I'm supposed to be doing.  I start to daydream or try to do too many things at once. 

I get caught up doing things that aren't for me to do, things that God hasn't called me to do, but I do them because I've been afraid to say no to someone, or because I mistakenly think I'm the only one who can do them properly.

If you and I are to live a balanced life then we need to use our time wisely in our work, our rest and our play.  Let's take a moment to look at those three areas:

Work: Do we make the most of our time at work?  Are we diligent in our work whether our boss is there to oversee things or not?  Do we take longer breaks than we are entitled to?  In our service to God are we living out our calling and focusing on that which he has asked of us or do we get involved in too many other things?  Jesus focused on what God's purpose was for him.  He did not allow anything or anyone to distract him from this.

Rest: Jesus modelled what it means to have time alone with God.  Times when he would get away from the crowd just to be with his Heavenly Father.  The wisest use of our time is to spend our first waking moments in God's presence.  This sets the direction for our day. 

We all need rest and sleep.  Living with M.E is teaching me just how valuable times of complete rest and sleep are.  I cannot function without them.  Having the appropriate time to rest and sleep is a good use of our time and makes us more effective in the things we do.

Play/Leisure: Do we make time to be with family and friends and enjoy their company?  What do we do for relaxation?  Do we do things which are good for us, such as going for walks, developing a new hobby or mastering a new skill?  Do we choose carefully what we read or watch on television? 

If we misuse the time we spend in our work or our service, then other areas of our life will suffer, such as our relationships.  I believe that relationship is important to God and should also be important to us.  Jesus knew when to serve and when to spend time enjoying the company of friends.  For example, he shared a close friendship with Lazarus, Martha and Mary, and could be found relaxing in their home on more than one occasion.

Using our time wisely is not about being constantly busy.  Busyness does not always equate to having a productive life.  We can be busy doing all manner of things that may not actually be necessary.  We can be so busy that we make ourselves ill (I've known that from personal experience) and that is not using our time wisely.

To use our time wisely we may need to eliminate some things from our life.  It may also mean spending more of our time on something else.  For example, for me it means ensuring I have periods of complete rest structured in to my day.  For you it may be something else, such as including some quality time with a family member.

If we are going to be wise in the way we use our time, we need the kind of wisdom that comes from God.  Not only that, we also need to be constantly in tune with the Holy Spirit, open to his prompting and reminding.  We need to listen to his words of wisdom and the guidance he gives us as we move through our day.  Then we will be living carefully and as Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians  "making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil."  Ephesians 5:16 (AMP). 

To Think About:
Consider how you spend your time.  Is there something you need to eliminate from your life so that you are using your time more wisely?

Is there something that you could be spending more time on so that you are making the most of your time?

Is there something you could put in place which would help you to use your time wisely?

Vicki

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