I just celebrated another birthday! I let go of my “work, work, work” mentality. I kicked back and watched, with my husband, the heartwarming movie, “The Music Never Stopped.” I even ignored my healthy diet and indulged in a large slice of rich, moist chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate fudge! I amused myself, admiring the deep purple larkspur and pale yellow roses arraying my floral bouquet. I engaged in unrushed conversation when friends stopped by with unexpected birthday blessings. The day passed too quickly!
Just like life, I thought. It fades away swiftly. James reminds us, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”(Verse 4:14) So I began to reflect on my use of time. How will my choices make a difference in the long run? What are their future implications? Will they give glory to God?
Since life runs short for me and for you, let’s be thoughtful and intentional about the time God allows us.
1. Love genuinely. “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NLT). When I catch myself serving, giving, and sacrificing with some motivation other than genuine love, it’s worth nothing. It’s all less than nothing, and it profits nothing! That’s a sobering truth!
What if we spend time loving the Lord first, and clinging to Him? He empowers you and me to serve, give and sacrifice with authenticity. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
2. Be attentive and careful. “Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise…” (Ephesians 5:15-16). Circumspectly means to walk cautiously, sensitively, as a person would walk through thorny terrain. It implies asking the Lord, daily, how to spend our minutes, hours and days. It begs the question, “how much time do I spend on the Internet, on social media, watching television, playing video games, etc.? “
A wise, godly man advised, “The goal is not to spend our life, but to invest it.” Am I sowing to advance God’s kingdom with my abilities and resources, to reap eternal rewards or instead trivial, temporary pleasures? Sowing to the spirit takes more effort but sowing to the flesh reaps a heap of regret. “Be careful, then, how you live.”
3. Let God be God. When I’m aware of other people hurting, my natural reaction is to try to rescue them or fix the problem. Yes, it would be nice to be able to help every hurting person who crosses my path. But in trying, I end up with a headache and tense muscles. The wiser way is to give their needs for comfort, salvation, provision and healing to God.
God is good.His intentions and ways are far beyond ours. Praying and believing God will intervene and that He will get glory in the end is the best use of my time. “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace…” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).