Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsWednesday 12 Aug 2020Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes
I think we are all guilty of wasting time—I know I can do that, and maybe you do too. It’s like the father who asked his son, What you are doing? And he said, Nothing. And dad said, You know, the problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you’re finished.
At that’s true. You might say, Well, what’s wrong with wasting time anyway? Everyone does it.
Of course there are companies that make big money on people wanting to waste time with games and other activities, like going on the internet when you could be doing something else. There’s nothing wrong with spending some time searching the internet by the way. This is a very personal issue of course and it’s not my role to define the activity that wastes time. We do need time to relax and just sit and watch TV or read a good book, and that is not wasting time.
I came across a good definition of wasting time: spending time on activities that do not provide any value. And I like that. And of course procrastination is one of those, where you just keep putting something off and not dealing with it. There may be a deadline due and you just pretend it doesn’t matter, and waste time doing nothing. And did you know lost time can never be found? We all get the same amount of time in each day. Time travels at the same speed every day whether you’re working or not. No-one gets more, no-one gets less.
Time Is God’s Gift to Us
We are equal in this regard. It’s how we choose to spend our time that differs. But many of us complain, I never have enough time. So where and when are you wasting time? Maybe others steal your time. If we never say ‘no’ or let others interrupt us all the time, then you will wonder where time went. Do you spend too much time watching TV? Maybe you could reallocate your time to something else. Maybe you find the days are boring.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Do you value life? Then waste not time for that is the stuff of which life is made of”. Someone else said, “ I wish I could stand on a busy street corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours”.
There are 168 hours in one week. 10,080 minutes in one week. How do we fill those minutes and hours? It’s important to think about it, because your time is your life. When you waste time, you waste your life. How often, at the end of the day, have you said to somebody, Where did the day go? Why have I wasted so much time? Because time is God’s gift to you and me, it becomes an important issue.
The Bible says this in Ephesians 5:16-17 (CEV): “These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead find out what the Lord wants you to do”. Another translation says, “Be careful how you live”. The opposite of careful is what?: careless. It says, don’t be careless. Literally in the Greek these verses mean don’t stumble through life; don’t just drift through life. Think it through, know what you’re here for, know your purpose and, as it says there, “make the most of every opportunity, be wise”, and then it says, “try to understand what God wants you to do”. Does God want me to waste my life? I am sure he doesn’t.
What to Avoid and What to Do
Chuck Swindoll has said that worrying a lot is a waste of time. We don’t have to look for things to worry about. Today’s newspaper is a good way to start a negative day with lots of bad news! But we can learn to trust God each day for our life, for he is in charge of everything anyway. Swindoll says that too many people waste time by comparing themselves to others. This is a real time-waster.
You are unique, and God’s plan for your life is not to be compared with others. The Bible says in Galatians 6:4 (CEV), “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others”. You don’t know what the others journey is all about—you’re on the outside looking in.
You need to:
- Recognise and acknowledge your true value and worth, but at the same time, accept yourself even with all of your faults and imperfections. We all have them. Make positive changes where you can. Do what you can to change the things you can and accept the things you can’t.
- Find your own gifts and talents and develop them. Don’t covet the gifts and talents of others. Find that thing God wants you to do. Become the person he wants you to be.
- Learn to appreciate others for who they are. Build relationships with those who live productive lives so you can share with them and learn from them.
- Celebrate and reward yourself for who you are! Thank God for everything he’s blessed you with—all of your abilities, gifts and talents. Ask him to forgive you for comparing yourself to others.