What Are You Doing with Those 10 Hours?
Pastor Dominic Cardamone
There are 168 hours in a week. It has been recommended for adults to sleep 8 hours a day. That leaves 112 hours of awake time each week. If you work 40 hours a week, you are left with approximately 72 hours of discretionary time per week. That works out to be approximately 10 hours per day. What are you doing with those 10 hours?
In light of the current Coronavirus crisis we find ourselves in, many may find themselves with more than 10 hours of discretionary time each day. Regardless, many Americans and Christians for that matter sadly are guilty of wasting many hours each day on frivolous things. Let’s be honest: it’s easy to sit on the couch and binge watch our favorite shows or scroll through our social media feeds only to realize several hours have ticked away forever. Time is a precious commodity. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Lost time is never found again.” If time is a precious commodity, what are some biblical principles that can help us steward our time more wisely?
Remember that Time Is Short
In case you think you have all the time in the world, James reminds us to keep a proper perspective about just how short life really is.
James 4:14, Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Job and David agree with James’ assessment on the amount of time we have in life (see Job 14:1-5 and Psalms 39:5-6). If anything, having a proper perspective on time should incentivize us not to be procrastinators. As it has been famously said, “Only one life, so soon it will pass.” “Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Be Serious about Time Management
Ephesians 5:15-16, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
In this passage, Paul is encouraging the Ephesians to walk as children of light (verse 8) and to do so by walking circumspectly (diligently). He instructs them to redeem the time (the phrase literally means to buy the opportunity) because the days are evil. The opportunities of each day are fleeting and the days are becoming more laborious and troublesome with persecution, trials, fatigue, etc. Essentially Paul was telling them to do the most amount of good with every opportunity given to them. In other words, he was telling them to manage their time wisely. We, as children of light, have a responsibility to make our minutes count for Christ. Therefore, this matter of our time and what we do with it should be taken seriously and not squandered.
Pay Attention to Seasons and Their Purposes
Ecclesiastes 3:1, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Time comes packaged in seasons. And as Solomon tells us, these seasons have unique purposes. It is wise to learn to recognize the seasons of life and to properly manage our time within those seasons to accomplish God’s purposes in them. In Proverbs 6:6-11, Solomon gives the picture of the ant as she manages her time and works hard in the summer so that she can gather food during the harvest. By doing so, she is not left lacking in the winter months. If the ant were like the sluggard and slept during the summer season instead of working, her outcome in winter would be much different. If we are not careful, we can be guilty of occupying our time with activity (or the lack thereof) that is not appropriate for the season of life we are in.
What season do you find yourself in today? Parenting season? Schooling season? Empty nest season? Whatever it is, I challenge you to discover what God’s purpose is for you in it and manage your time in such a way that gives you optimum effectiveness.
Significance Should Have Sway
John 9:4, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Serving his heavenly Father was Jesus’ greatest priority, and consequently commanded most of his time. Our greatest priorities ought to be given the greatest quantity and/or the greatest quality of time. This is not always easy to do in our busy-schedule culture and requires wisdom. If we say that God, our marriages, our children, etc. are our greatest priorities, would our time spent in devotion to these things reflect that?
Seek the Sovereign’s Help
Psalms 90:12, So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Moses penned Psalm 90. It’s a prayer offered up during a time when God’s people were under His chastening hand. Some suggest that it could be during the time when Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness for not stepping out in faith to go into the Promised Land. In verses 1-6, Moses expresses the eternality of God and in verses 7-11 he expounds upon the finality of man. At verse 12 and through the rest of the chapter, he pens a prayer. Understanding the finality of man and the responsibility to walk righteously before God, he requests that God would teach them to number their days. We would do well to pray the same thing. In our prayers we should ask God to cause us to have the grace to duly consider what time we have and the wisdom to know what to do to most effectively use it.