“To waste time is to squander a gift from God.”
~ John Blanchard
I'm pondering this thought in the title (When We Waste Time) as I've been going through old blog posts and updating them since my blog moved from blogger to WordPress. Everything did not switch over seamlessly and my blog needs some time and attention over the next few
weeks years :).
I can find myself expecting to sit and work on this task for 15 minutes and realize an hour has passed. I have other things I need to take care of in my home but sitting mindlessly reading through old blog posts seems a bit more on the easy side and more appealing over folding a load of laundry or washing dishes.
I'm using updating my blog as an example but it can be a host of other things that distract us from the most important tasks of our day. It may be Facebook, email, phone calls, reading, television, or a host of other activities that we find more interesting than the tasks at hand. It may be we are just good procrastinators.
Let me state there is nothing wrong with spending time on Facebook, blogging, television or whatever your leisure time activities may be, but there is a problem if it is taking you away from getting your work done in the home.
My problem is an issue of self discipline and prioritizing the tasks at hand. Discipline is an area I need to continue to challenge myself and grow in. It is much easier to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Our society has become one of instant gratification and many times I buy into the lie.
I don't have this perfected and it will be a continual work in my life but here are some habits I continue to develop to become self disciplined with my time. Time is a gift from the Lord and I don't want to waste what the Lord has gifted me with. I want to be a good steward of the time and make the most of my days.
When I waste time and I know I have wasted time I just feel yucky. I know, not a profound statement, but it's true. When I've been diligent in my tasks for the day and been productive I feel better when I do sit to scan Facebook or watch a movie.
Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Days:
1. Spend time with the Lord first thing in the morning – We can have a zillion excuses why we don't do this but it is the best time to spend with the Lord. We are at our best and it is usually the quietest time of the day. There is no better way to start your day than sitting at the feet of Jesus first thing in the morning.
“It is a good rule never to look into the face of man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.”
~ Charles Spurgeon
2. Take care of the tasks that are the most difficult – If you find you are a procrastinator with certain items on your to do list, take the time to attend to those tasks first thing in the day so you can move beyond them. Many times for me it is a difficult or time consuming phone call. Once I get beyond this task the others seem to go smoothly.
3. Make sure you finish what you start – How many times as keepers of our homes do we go from one task to another and never finish any of them? When you start a task, finish it through. (See Staying on Task in an Unfocused World)
4. Take the time to get organized – This is not an overnight fix but it is one we should continually work to strive towards. The more organized we are the less time and money we waste. When we're organized with meal planning we have less waste of food and better use of leftovers. Think of how many hours of your life you have wasted looking for items? Work your home one room at a time. (See some of my posts on Organization here).
5. Learn to deny yourself – When you're tempted to check email before reading your Bible in the morning – Deny Yourself! When you're wanting to sleep in instead of spending time with the Lord in the morning – Deny Yourself! When you would rather put off until tomorrow what you can do today – Deny Yourself! and finish the tasks at hand. (See Don't Waste Your Mornings)
Final Thoughts to Share:
When those days or moments come up that you have squandered the time away, don't spend time beating yourself up about it or sulking. Repent and move forward. You can't go back but you can move forward. I know it sounds cliche but it is true – God's mercies are new every morning.
Now that you're at the end of this post I want you to see what the next item is on your to do list and just do it. Maybe you need to hug your little one or sit and read a story with them. Maybe you do need to get the laundry moving or maybe you need to sit at the feet of Jesus and be reminded of His great love for you if you are in Christ.
“We have only the time allotted by God, and none of us knows when it will run out. Every Christian life runs by His divine timetable and against His divine clock. We do not know how long He will hold open the door of a given opportunity or of our entire time of service. “Be careful how you walk,” Paul counsels, “not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). God gives us many things without limit – His love, His grace, and many others. But His gift of time is strictly measured.”
~ John MacArthur
The Art of Self Discipline – Sermon series from Grace to You