05/05/19 Practical Discipleship: Time Management

READING: Ephesians 5:15-16

We know that God gives us all the time we need to do what He asks us to do, but many of us still struggle with time management. It almost always seems that we have more things to do than hours to get them done. Consequently, our stress load increases. Under that weight, we get easily frustrated and sometimes become short-tempered with others.  What often gets pushed aside when we’re busy, though, is something that really matters: our quiet time with the Lord.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are to “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). While Paul’s use of “time” here suggests a specific, unique moment of opportunity (thus, the sense is “don’t miss this opportunity today, for it may never come again”), the text does remind us that we need to pay attention to opportunities God gives us. Foolish, undisciplined living results in missed open doors for doing good in the midst of an evil world.

Thus, I want to offer a few practical time management tips to help you live more wisely for God in the coming week:

  1. Pray through your calendar before you start the day. When you’ve prayed about everything you’re to do today, the day just seems to go more smoothly.
  2. Take advantage of “ten-minute opportunities” to spend time with God. Don’t limit yourself to just these times with God, but also don’t miss the chance to focus on Him for a few minutes. You can do much intentional Bible reading and focused praying in ten minutes.
  3. Be aware of, and limit, your distractors. If you know, for example, that watching TV gets in the way of your time with the Lord, limit the TV. You don’t have to give it up; you just have to walk away from it for some time to give your attention to something much, much more significant: your time with God.
  4. Use a “to do” list. You might do this electronically, or you might handwrite all the things you need to do today. Either way, though, keep in front of you the tasks you want to complete today. Pray before you start each task, asking God to help you to get it done; then, pray when you finish it, thanking God for helping you to complete it. Wrap your “to do” items in prayer.

PRAYER: “God, help me to use my time wisely this week.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Samuel 1-2, Luke 22:1-23