It’s probably a safe bet to say that most of us are well aware of the time wasters in our life – television, video games, searching for lost items because you are not organized (okay, maybe that one is just me!). The truth is, there are many ways in which we waste time that perhaps we haven’t considered. For example, the time you spend sitting in traffic. Not the sitting in traffic part, this can’t always be avoided, but the time spent being angry about the traffic. What if for the next week, you spent that time, still stuck in traffic, but listening to gospel music, or uplifting podcasts?
In Ephesians 5: 15-21, Paul invites us to not only analyze our lifestyle and the way we spend our time, but to find better ways to use the time we’re given and to prioritize the things that are important.
(NKJV) “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
You’ve heard, I’m sure, many expressions about how each of us are given the same amount of time each day, but how not all of us will get the same results. Think about how true this is. If I spend my workday on Facebook or gossiping with the ladies in the office, how effective of a leader can I really be? If I’m not serving as a leader in my organization, then I am not honoring my Heavenly Father in the way I should. Don’t confuse the term “leader”, with being the “boss”. Everyone can be a leader, your position at work is irrelevant. As Christians, we are all called to lead. We are also called to live at a higher level than the rest of the world because He knows that others are watching us. Be an example of His glory by being a strong leader and spending your time wisely.
On the days I am home with my kids, if we spend our time together watching TV, or the kids are playing video games while I talk on the phone, then the day I was given with them is lost. That’s not to say we can’t find value in catching up with family on a phone call, or Facebook, but just to be aware of when might be a more appropriate time to do those things, and also, not to get lost in them. Get lost in nature, or a card game, or even just a walk around the block to revel in the colors of fall!
Paul further reminds us to be thankful for all things. If we spend time in gratitude, it fills our heart with the Spirit and that is reflected in our interactions with others. If we are drunk with wine, or otherwise cranky, that too will be reflected in how we treat others. Be mindful of that. When we are living right, we are serving as an example of Jesus, His light and His love. And THAT is never a waste of time!