The Sin of Wasted Time

Description

Are you glorifying God with your time?

My glance at the digital clock at the bottom right-hand corner of my monitor revealed that two hours had slipped by. I cringed: "Bad time management, Lindsey." Then I caught myself: Not true. 

A few years back, I neglected some homework. (Sadly, that wasn't the last time some assignments received less than their share of attention, but this occasion stands out in particular.) The conversation with my teacher went something like this:

“Well, Mr. Hardisty, I didn’t really manage my time quite as effectively as I could have, last week… you see, I concentrated more on many of my other responsibilities…”

It really would have turned out as a beautiful little excuse, believe me—had he allowed me to finish. He did not.

“No. Time management isn’t your issue, Lindsey.”

 I fumbled. “Ah… it isn’t? But…like I said...”

“No, it isn’t. Let me finish: your issue is laziness. The reason you didn’t meet your goals this week is because you weren’t self-disciplined.”

Yeowch!

Confessing to habits of “procrastination” and “bad time management” is common enough. In those terms, it can almost sound like a mild (and sometimes even amusing) fault. But there’s nothing funny about sin.

Isn’t it true that the things we spend our time doing on a daily, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis reflect what’s important to us?  If so, the way we spend our time is the most telling thing about us. After all, isn’t “time” just a gentler, bite-sized word for “life”? 

In that case, habits of procrastination are really more accurately described as habits of life-wasting. Proverbs has some choice words for people like that: “sluggards” and “fools”.

But you know the pattern. At the end of the day, feeling guilty and sorry, we’ll start to moan about how busy we are. I try to get everything done, but I can’t. Sigh. Not enough hours in the dayPoor Linny.

Alright, yes. I know we’re all busy, and if you're anything like me, you often try to fit too many things (even good things) into your schedule.

I don't think "lack of time” is the issue, though. Not any more than "lack of money" can be blamed for turning a girl into a shopaholic with three maxed out credit cards. If we had more time, we’d just waste a greater amount of it. Case in point: when a procrastinator gets a few extra days to work on homework, the homework still gets done at the last minute, doesn't it?

Just think how many hours a day you watch TV. What about surfing Facebook? Twitter? Checking email? Texting about not-so-important stuff? There’s enough time in 24 hours to get everything that God wants us to accomplish done. We’re just not using it on the right things.

As a step in the right direction, I've decided to desert the terms “poor time management” and “procrastination” to describe my problem. When those habits are ruling me, I need to face it squarely and call the sin what it is: an undisciplined, self-centered lifestyle inconsistent with Christianity. If I'm a servant of Christ, every minute of my time belongs to Him. I don't have the right to squander what isn't mine.

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