Like so many other valuable resources in society, time has been abused and wasted. How valuable is your time? Are you using it effectively?
Over the past 6,000 years, approximately 300 generations have come and gone. Some people live in poverty while others bask in the glow of the glamorous life. Some achieve wild success, while others wallow in failure. Some are thoroughly educated while others can barely read. Everyone is different.
Yet no matter who we are or where we live, we all have access to an equal daily amount of time. That element remains constant in every life.
Every day, we are each given the same amount and we all use the same amount. If we run out of time, we cannot go to a time bank to withdraw an extra supply. If we have a little extra time, we cannot set it aside and save it for the future.
We are limited by the number of days we walk this Earth. In Psalm 89:47, David wrote, “Rememberhow short my time is.” He continued in the next chapter, “Our days all droop under thy displeasure, our life is over like a sigh. Our life is seventy years at most, or eighty at the best, a span of toil and trouble, soon over, and we flit away ” (Psalm 90:9-10; Moffatt). When compared to eternity, how brief our physical existence is! The Apostle James referred to our life as a vapor which vanishes away (James 4:14).
Life’s fleeting number of days makes time one of man’s most valuable resources. So what are you doing with your allotted portion of time? Do you carelessly spend it as if on a million-dollar shopping spree? Or do you wisely invest your time so that you might get the most out of it? How effectively do you use the time God has given you? Did you know that how you use your time has more to do with where you end up in life than heredity and environment?
In the parable of the talents, located in Matthew 25, Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to a man giving certain talents to his servants before he left for a far country. All of the servants had adifferent number of talents. But notice verse 19: “After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” They each had access to the same quantity of time. They were rewarded by Christ, not according to their talents, but according to what they did with those talents in their allotted time!
Benjamin Franklin once asked, “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made out of.” Our lives are only made up of a certain amount of time. If we waste it, we are wasting our lives.
In Matthew 6, Christ gave us an outline upon which we are to base our prayers. Toward the end of that outline, He said, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (verse 12). If we are humble and forgive others, then God will forgive us after repentance. In Psalm 103:12, David wrote, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Upon repentance, God is concerned about the future, not the past. To the repentant sinner, Jesus said, “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
Repentance means change—to begin walking in a new direction, a different way of life. Put another way, if our lives are made up of a certain amount of time , then godly repentance means we are to change the way we have been using our time. After conversion, God expects us to use our time in a different manner—according to His will—in preparation for the Kingdom of God.
Whatever you have done in the past, no matter how much time we have wasted, do not let it affect the time you have today and in the future. Misspent time, no matter how wasteful it was, has already been spent. Don’t let it affect your future supply. How many times have we let down, given in to old habits, and then said, “Oh well, I already blew it. It won’t much matter if I continue in these bad habits for a few more days.” And then days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years. Before you know it, you have wasted your life.
If you want those years of wasteful time behind you, then begin to change how you use your time today. That is the first important step to learning how to manage your time better. Don’t let past mistakes or wasteful living affect what you should be doing today. Change your ways and then consider what you have today, right now—an unused, fresh supply of 24 hours! Think about what you can do with that much time!