Best Use of Time?
"Time is golden,” they say. It’s the most precious asset we have. In fact, it’s more than just an asset because our lives are bound to it. When we lose money, we can still live. When our relationships break down, we can still go on. We can even go on without food and drink for a time. But when our time is up, our life is over, too.
How do we save time, then? Unlike other things, we cannot save time for later by not using it; it never stops ticking. We can’t slow it down, either. Everyone gets an equal ration of 24 hours a day—both the richest and the poorest, and the most diligent and the laziest. Paradoxically, the best way to save time is to use it: “What is a candle made but to burn? He who works much lives much” (Richard Baxter).
How best to use our time is an important question. Keep in mind that we can only do one thing at a time among all the things we need to do, ought to do, and want to do. So, we can say, “The greatest enemy of the most important thing is the second most important thing.”
But how do we determine what the best use of our time is? This is like asking what the best car in the world is. Is it to be decided by price or horsepower? No, what the purpose is must be decided first.
Lamborghini may be a great car but it’s a terrible car for off-roading. We cannot determine what the best use of our time is without first deciding what life’s purpose is. If our goal is to have as much fun as we can, we will have certain criteria. If our goal is to retire as early as possible, we will have a different set of criteria.
What, then, is your goal in life? How do you go about answering such an important question? Is it just a matter of individual preference, or social construct? Listen to what Apostle Paul said: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Paul says that the days are evil because so many things are there to distract us from life’s true purpose. But what is life’s true purpose? It comes from knowing “the will of the Lord”—the purpose for which God made us. No matter how passionately we live, living our lives without knowing our Maker’s will is foolishness like studying hard about everything except what the professor considers is important.
What is God’s will for man? He showed it by making man in His own image: it is for us to be like God as much as it is humanly possible without being divine. This is a high privilege. Who is more glorious and majestic than God, nobler and more upright than God, or wiser and more beautiful than God? Who is more full of love, joy, and peace than God? He IS love and joy and peace, without whom we can’t have genuine experiences of them. God created us in His glorious image and gave us the faculties needed to share in His love, joy, and peace, which come from being in communion with Him.
Are you living according to this design? Maybe you don’t feel the need to because you’re satisfied with the way your life is going. But, if you are made in God’s image, you cannot truly live while separated from God. You may be able to thrive for a while, but you will wither and die like a rosebud, whose stem is cut off from the bush. And you will be thrown into the fire (John 15:6). We urge you to get grafted to Christ, who is the Tree of Life, and live. How? Acknowledge the wrong of betraying God’s design for your life and your need for God’s forgiveness. Believe that Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, came into this world to pay the penalty for your sins so that you might be forgiven. Trust that your sins are forgiven, and you can now have communion with God forever. Study the Bible and learn how to do all things for God’s glory, thereby making the best use of your time!