Christians teach about the necessity of good stewardship regularly. Usually, this is in regards to money. But every gift from God is to be stewarded faithfully. Notice in 1 Corinthians 4:2 (ESV) “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” I believe how we choose to use the time God has given us faithfully as good stewards is an appropriate application of this text, in a very real sense just as we are to be good stewards of resources such as money.
How To Think
Every child of God has been created by God for good works which He prepared beforehand (Eph 2:10). Our callings will be as varied as we are. Each of us is unique, so I will not try to create a list of rules others ought to follow because how I believe I am to spend the time God has granted me is different from how you ought.
But I believe we can apply biblical principles to encourage people to make the best use of their time (Eph 5:16), and thus glorify God in all they do. Here are some principles to consider when you are engaging in an activity to determine if you are living a life pleasing to God in Christ. I encourage you to review the scripture references provided.
- Do everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Know the will of God, that you may make the best us of your time (Eph 5:15-17)
- Think ahead so that you may prevent things from obstructing you from staying on a good course (Proverbs 14:15)
- Maintain proper focus on the will of God (Proverbs 4:25-27)
A general question one could ask themselves is “am I wasting God’s time right now?”
A Few Caveats
I am not saying that every one of us has to be working every moment of the day. I do believe that God has provided a sabbath day for us to rest from our work. Additionally, I am not opposed to enjoying the recreations God has given us that provide joy and refreshment. Each time you are having a nice meal, it isn’t reasonable to think to yourself that there is still more work to do for the Lord and thus, not enjoy the meal or family time.
The fact is that there will always be more work to do for the Lord until He comes and sets everything right (and even then we’ll work for Him). For now, we need to consider if each of our activities glorifies Him, and that can be done in many ways. “Setting your mind on things above” does not mean the same thing as “being so heavenly minded you are no earthly good” … read here.
So take recreation, but ask yourself – “Am I wasting God’s time right now or am I able to glorify Him through this?”
More importantly, I believe we can all push ourselves a little harder than we do. I’m convinced that God doesn’t desire that we are never exhausted. I think it is a virtuous thing for people (within reason) to push past normal desire for rest sometimes in order to serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
Go and serve the Lord with fear and be diligent to question your motives. Do not be anxious, but put in some extra effort to evaluate how you use the time God has given you. Think of each moment as a gift He has provided, and commit to never wasting those gifts. Let even your rest be for His glory and designed to enjoy Him and prepare you for further service.
Compare the amount of time you spend with entertainment with your prayer time. Compare the amount of time you spend on social media or even reading good books with the time spent in His holy Word! Let His Spirit convict you as you seek to do His will.
You were made to do the good works he prepared for you, walk in them, dear brother or sister!
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.