Number Your Days
I think we often overlook the value of time. Once time is wasted, there is no way of getting it back. God tells us that we should use our time with the mindset that it is limited and that we should be wise in how we spend it.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Have you ever thought about how you use your time? Everything we have is a gift from God; the gifts we have received are not ours alone. God gave them to us for the purpose of serving Him and serving other people. It would seem that the more we give to others, the poorer we become, but just the opposite is true! Service to others brings meaning and fulfillment to our lives in a way that wealth, power, possessions and self-centered pursuits can never match. It is not uncommon to hear comments like, “There just isn’t enough time in a day to do everything I need to do.” “I just don’t know where the time goes.” The problem we each face in our society today is not the amount of time God has allotted to us, but our view of time and life itself, and how we use the time we have. Of course, time is a resource and we should not waste the time God has given us. But are play, leisure, rest, and simply taking a walk a waste of time? Hardly! We have reached the point, however, where even leisure time is considered poorly spent. We must see our time off from work, no matter what the activity is, as a means of making us more effective in the workplace or in Christian service. It feels to me work is becoming the Christian’s source of identity. The answer to most of our problems, or so we are told, is “work harder.” “You aren’t really serving the Lord unless you consistently push yourself to the point of fatigue” is the mentality that some of us may have.
Our lives should count for God, that it might have eternal value, but an essential part of this comes from an awareness of the value and purpose of our time on earth. One issue we have is that we tend to live for the moment rather than for eternity. Often when we do something, we don’t really consider the effect that it will have on us in the future and whether or not whatever we are doing has eternal value. Numbering our days would mean we evaluate the use and management of our time. This means evaluating where and how we spend our days. If we are too busy to spend time on the Word, then we need to ask ourselves why. Is the drama series that we are watching more important than God’s Word? Or are we spending way too much time on our phones?
2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
In the end, we all have to be accountable to God for the things that each of us has done and we will receive whatever we deserve according to what we have done. Numbering our days also means evaluating the quality of our time spent. The amount of time we spend at something is often not as important as the quality of the time spent. Not only must we consider where our time goes, but how we spend it and why. Is it quality time spent? Do you take time for God’s Word and other projects which require solid thinking and alertness when you are not beat and when you are at your best? When you spend time with your family, are your mind and heart somewhere else? Are you distracted? When in church, for instance, what exactly are you thinking about? The ‘why’ is also very important. We need to consider our motives and goals in the use of time. As believers of Christ, all we do should be structured around fulfilling what God commands us to do.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
We need to be reminded that God does look at our hearts and that He rewards those who sincerely seek after Him. Time is a resource given to us by God for us to allocate the priorities in our lives. The more time we invest in something, the more of a priority it is in our life. And in the end, God looks at what is really important to us by how we allocate our time. I used to spend my time poorly on things that didn’t really have a purpose nor did they help in fulfilling biblical goals. But I thank God that He has changed me into a better person and taught me how to be wise with my time. I encourage you to think about how you spend your time and pray for wisdom to use it in line with God’s will for you.
“Dear Lord Jesus, I am sorry that I may not have spent the time You have given me wisely. I seek Your wisdom on how I should more appropriately use this precious resource. Remind me that I should always be a good steward over the resources You have entrusted to me and that I should not take for granted what I have. Open my eyes to see that I can live a much more fulfilling by following Your word and teaching, and for that, I am eternally grateful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”