I have never met a person who was born into a family who has more time in a day than others. Nor have I met a person who was born in a country or community that has less time in their day than others. When it comes to time, we are all on an equal footing. What we spend our time on will determine the kind of people we will be.
Our time, this limited resource, is best spent on purpose and with purpose. Psalm 90 has some great things to say about our time on earth. In particular, verse 12 says “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I love this verse. If I use my time right, the benefit will be a wise heart.
Why on earth would I want a wise heart? Because:
- My heart determines the course of my life.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’ Proverbs 4:23
Allowing God to teach us to use our time well is a smart move because it will help us to:
- guard our heart
- develop a wise heart
- steer our life in the right direction
When stuff comes our way and we have to decide whether or not to give it time, asking these four “L” questions will help us make decisions that are on purpose and with purpose:
- Learning –Is this activity going to help me to learn something? I need to proactively take time to learn. Having a teachable attitude, being willing to learn – from God and from other people – will grow me in immeasurable ways.
- Leading – Is this activity going to cause me to lead in some way? Leading is serving and as Jesus said, if you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, learn to be a servant of all. It is selfish of me to only want to learn from others but not be willing to lead those coming behind me.
- Living Life – Will this activity help me to live life with those that God wants me to? I cannot live the God appointed kind of life alone. I need to be living it out with others. The first people I need to live life with would be my family. I also live a large part of my life at work so determining what work I do and who I do it with will greatly influence my life. As will the friends I choose to live my life with.
- Leisure – Will this activity bring some form of leisure and rest to my life? God set in place the Sabbath. Times of leisure and rest are a vital part of healthy living.
If the answer is “no” to all four, then we probably should not be doing it. If it is “yes” to one or more, then we need to consider whether it will put any of the four out of balance. If any one of these are out of balance we become stressed or unproductive or self centered or burnt out or a list of other negatives. Having a good balance to the way we spend our time will contribute toward developing a heart of wisdom. If my heart is the vessel that will determine the course of my life then I sure don’t want it to be a sloppy heart. Giving my time in ways that cultivate a wise heart is akin to feeding my body healthy food – it determines the quality and outcome of my life.