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Thursday, April 1, 2010


Ephesians 5:15-21 "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."

To get a laugh one day, my sister once covertly tracked the amount of time it took me to tie my shoe before we headed out the door somewhere.  Embarassingly, this simple task took me several minutes.  This was not because I somehow failed to master the bunny and the hole shoelace trick that most kindergarteners are taught, but rather it is because I do not always make the best use of time.

Have you ever thought of the things for which you make time and the things for which you never seem to have time?  Too often, I can more easily make time....
  • for watching television than for calling a friend in need
  • for surfing the internet than for reading my Bible
  • for eating than for exercising
  • for a coffee date than for housework
  • for listening to the news than for listening to my husband talk
  • for shopping than for budgeting
  • for seeking advice from others than for praying
  • for texting than for being present in a conversation
It is not that there is anything wrong with these things that I am more easily prone to do.  However, sometimes, these choices simply are not "the best use of the time" for me--particularly given that my heart's desire is to live my life with the drive and purpose of : 1) knowing, enjoying, loving, worshipping, following, trusting, depending on, and submitting to God; and 2) loving others in a way that images the sacrificial, scandalous, pursuing, transforming love of God through the gospel in a way that brings glory to the God who is Perfect Love.   Don't get me wrong, television, internet, eating, coffee dates, listening to the news, shopping, seeking advice, and even texting can all be used to towards these two ends.  Take television for example, there are times when television brings me an insight into an aspect of God's character, or God's story of redemption, or human nature or the culture around me.  Or sometimes I see beauty in television through dialogue, storylines, acting, cinematography, education, etc.  Or sometimes, my mind is challenged and sharpened by something I watch.  Or sometimes I connect with my husband while watching a movie and cuddled up next to him on the couch.  Or sometimes, I simply get to enjoy laughter as a gift from a good God.  But there are also times when television is mind-numbing, purposeless, detrimental, and distracting me from loving God and loving others.  The point is, how many times do I stop and consider whether what I am doing is beneficial or detrimental to my life's drive and purpose?  I want to be intentional about my time.  I want to reflect on the motives, means, and effects of what I do, and I want my motives, means and effects to be in line with God's will.  

How do we understand God's will?  Here's a hint:

Romans 12:1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

If I want to understand God's will, I must actively seek the renewing of my mind so that I do not drift along in the current of this world's philosophies and perspectives and my own fleshly whims.  My fallible inclinations and instincts need to be tested against God's perfect Word.  This means, I must study the Word!  This means, I must be in fellowship and accountability relationships with Christians who can help instruct me in the Word and can help me identify areas where I am more conformed to the world than I am to God's Word.  This means I must pray and ask God to reveal His truth to me and give me spiritual eyes to see His truth.

Ephesians 5 gives us more clues about God's will for us.  He wants us to be filled with His Spirit.  Just as too much wine has a demostrable effect on us, God wants His Spirit to have a demonstrable effect on us!  He wants us to speak truth to one another through songs, hymns and spirtual songs.  He wants us to sing His praises through songs, hymns and spiritual songs.  He wants us to be filled with thanksgiving, which brings us joy and brings Him glory.  He wants us to walk in humility, submitting to others--submitting to their interests and humbly allowing others to speak into our lives with the truth of the Word.  As the rest of Ephesians 5 goes on to show us, God's will for us is to image the gospel in relationship--with our spouses, our children, our church families, our co-workers, our authorities, etc. 

Given that this is God's will for us, how does the way that we spend our time factor into making the best use of time?  In what way is God challenging you to reconsider the "best use" of time?


Heather said...

This post is so timely for me Bina. I am so far behind on everything I want to do and/or should do. When I honestly look at the way my time is spent, a good portion of it is wasted on things that do not edify God or move me closer to Him or those He has placed in my life. Thank you for this post - for giving me words to my distracted thoughts and for sharing what God has placed on your heart that will encourage others like me. Miss you!

Keisha Valentina said...

Thank you, thank you for posting this!