Paul tells the Ephesians to pay attention to “how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time because the days are evil” (see Ephesians 5:15-16). So how do we make the most of the time? How can we be good stewards of the time allotted to us?
- Realize there are different types of “time.” The New Testament has two words for time: Chronos and Chronos is the time on your watch. Kairos is an opportunity or an occasion. Being a good steward includes time management (chronos) but we can busy ourselves with good things that we neglect the best things. Remember the story of Mary and Martha? A good steward of time is more than having a bunch of checkmarks on your to-do list. Jesus gave us our marching orders captured by the Great Commandments and the Great Commission. Does my time reflect that I love God supremely? Does it demonstrate that I am loving others the way Jesus would? Are my days furthering the advance of God’s Kingdom and serving as a testimony to Jesus?
- Remember that time is a gift. In Psalm 90, the author says: “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Wise living begins with recognition that life is fleeting and that every breath we are given is a gift. It’s all gift. Since it is gift, I do not own my time, but I am given it to manage. One day I will give account for this gift. What do I have to show for this gift given to me? Is my time honoring to God?
- Recognize your finitude and your ability to honor God with your time. Jesus is infinite in the sense that He is the second member of the eternal Trinity, but He was finite in His short life on earth. What I mean is that as part of the incarnation, He was limited by space and time and lived a mere 33 years or so. Though He performed great miracles, He did not solve all the world’s problems in terms of people’s physical or societal needs. There are times when He would leave a town where people were looking for Him for further healing, but He leaves them to go to another town (see Mark 1:32-39). Yet, at the end of His life He could pray: “I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave me to do” (John 17:4). Not everyone was healed, but Jesus work was complete. God is not asking for something impossible for you to accomplish with your time. He is merely asking you to be faithful and to use your time in a way that honors Him. We too have the hope of accomplishing the work God calls us to do and to hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Matthew 25:14-30).
Are you being a good steward of your time?