If time is money, as the old saying goes, then God pays us a daily “income” of 86,400 seconds! Just how valuable is that time—and what can help you to control how you spend it?
Our time is an investment. Every day of every year, it is profitable to invest our time wisely, just as we would invest our income. When we invest our money, we expect our investment to yield lasting growth. We seek options and make choices to maximize our money. We take measures and steps to ensure that our investment is protected and maturing. Why not invest our time as we do our money? God is actively investing in us by allotting us time to live. He analyzes and develops our character through the choices we make with the time He provides. Good choices yield growth; bad choices bring losses.
The Bible encourages us to “walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16). Satan has created a global empire that is extremely evil—one that strategically attacks our time through distractions. He understands that if he can steal our time away from us, we will invest less of it in Christ, thus becoming less spiritually profitable. God pays close attention to how we use the time that He gives us.
Here are two ways that we can redeem and invest our time as we finish out the year.
1.) Set specific goals with Christ. Our goals reflect our priorities. Those who desire eternal life will invest and devote their time to Jesus Christ. Consider and focus on the ultimate goal of becoming members of the God Family in the Kingdom of God. Focusing on that goal helps us in our battle against Satan, who tries to steal and manipulate our time. I would encourage reading or re-reading the booklet What Is the Meaning of Life? for a deeper understanding of the ultimate goal.
Set specific goals with Christ. Be careful not to set broad, vague goals with no detailed plans; instead, break the goal down into easily obtainable steps. Small accomplishments will lead to greater rewards and protect us from becoming overwhelmed. If we start too big and fall short, we may become discouraged and disengaged, and therefore give up before reaching success.
For example, if your goal is to read the Bible more, start small and specific. Write a goal like, “I will read the Bible at least five minutes per day.” Then plan its accomplishment, like so:
Make the goal so small that you cannot talk yourself out of it. Then, when you accomplish the goal of five minutes of Bible reading, you are already engaged and soon will begin to invest another ten or fifteen minutes. In time, the investment becomes a profitable habit. The same “start small” approach can apply to other goals in life.
2.) Track your progress. If we do not track our progress, we will become disengaged from our goals. Tracking our progress makes our time and goals more tangible. It is helpful for us to see our plan in action and to visualize the results.
We can track our progress by using a calendar or planner. We could make spreadsheets that track our specific accomplishments. Find what works and reflect on your progress. Ask, “Did my investment yield profit or a loss?” Be specific, be serious, and then apply the lessons.
The Bible encourages us to rescue and maximize the investment that God makes in us each and every day. American poet Carl Sandburg put it this way: “Time is the coin of your Life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. And when you spend it, spend it wisely so that you get the most for your expenditure” (Ralph McGill, The Best of Ralph McGill: Selected Columns, 1980, p. 82).
My friends, it is about time that we took control of our time! Invest those 86,400 little “time coins.” Redeem them, just as the Apostle Paul admonished! Let’s be disciplined as we set specific goals with Christ, and with His help, track our progress. They who are faithful in the little things will be faithful in much (Luke 16:10). Let us not bury our investment in the sand, but rather maximize our yield for Christ.
If you found this article helpful, you may also be interested in content like “There is a Real God and He Wants You to Know Him!” and “Measuring Up.” Both are available right here at TomorrowsWorld.org.