“Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16, English Standard Version)
Confession. With all the time I’ve had at home for the past several weeks in lockdown, I haven’t accomplished as much as I thought I would. Others seem to be organizing closets, clearing garages of useless items, packing things to donate to charity, and doing spring cleaning. While I tell myself I should do that, I’ve put it off for still another day. Perhaps I’m not alone in my lack of productivity. I recently saw an article that asked, “Why is doing nothing during lockdown so exhausting?” According to the author many are affected by the anxiety brought on by COVID-19 and from being off their usual routine.
Ephesians 5:16 tells us to make the best use of our time. I want to be—need to be—a good steward of all that God has given me, including my time. But what is the best way for us to use the time He has entrusted us? Before answering that question, consider this: Busyness is not the same as productivity. Or, as Stephen R. Covey said, “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
How do you want to invest the time God has given you? What are your priorities? What is most important in your life? Home? Family? God? Career? Hobbies? Recognition? Only you can answer that question. And only you can answer the next question of whether the way you currently spend your time matches what you say is most important.
When thinking about time and how I use it, I realized three things.
- The past is behind me. Philippians 3:13 tells me to forget the things behind me. I cannot change them. If I invested my time wisely—good. If not, I must leave past mistakes in the past. It is foolish to carry them with me into the future.
- The future is unknown. James 4:14 says, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (ESV). I cannot put off what I need to do until another time. The future is uncertain. I have no assurance of those hours, days, or months.
- All I have is this present moment. If I cannot undo the past or guarantee the future, then today is the only time available to fulfill my hopes, dreams, and ambitions. This day is the only time I have to fulfill God’s purpose in my life. I must work today. John 9:4 admonishes, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (ESV).
Value the time God has given you today. He expects you to be a good steward of this present moment. Use it wisely and fulfill His purpose for your life.
Lord, help me to make the most of the time You’ve given me. May I have the wisdom to recognize the essential and leave behind the things that rob me of the time to fulfill Your plan and purpose in my life. All I have is this present moment to work for You.