So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)
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We all have the same amount of time – 168 hours a week. The only question is, “How am I investing it?” We want to learn to invest it wisely so that we won’t be like the man in Isaiah 49:4, who said, “I have used up my strength but have accomplished nothing” (GNT).
Ephesians 5:15-17 offers three steps to understanding how to manage your time better:
1. Analyze my lifestyle. “So pay close attention to how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people” (Ephesians 5:15 GNT). Be aware of time robbers. Don’t say, “I wonder where all my time went!” Carefully evaluate your schedule and seriously consider how you live.
In order to save time, you must first know how you lose it. Sit down and make a time log: “How did I spend last week?” Or, over the next seven days, keep a record of how you spend your hours. Where does your time go? Just by keeping a record, you’ll use your time better.
2. Utilize the present. “Make the most of every chance you get” (Ephesians 5:16 MSG). The best time to manage your time is right now – not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now!
Proverbs 27:1 says, “Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then” (GNT).
How do you make the most of the present?
· Do it now. If you had a bank account and I were to tell you that every morning someone was going to put in $86,400 into that bank account – that you could spend it any way you wanted to, but at the end of that day, whatever money you hadn’t spent from the account would be lost – do you think you’d try to spend it? Or do you think you’d let it go to waste? Guess what? You have 86,400 seconds every day! Utilize the present by doing it now.
· Eliminate time wasters. “I may do anything, but everything is not useful . . . [or] constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23 PH). The apostle Paul is saying that many things in life are not necessarily wrong, but they’re also not necessary. You’ve got to eliminate the time wasters. It’s amazing how creative we get when we have a job to do that we don’t want to do.
3. Prioritize what’s important. “Don’t act thoughtlessly but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do” (Ephesians 5:17 NLT). When you talk about time management, you’ve got to do what God wants you to do. You have just enough time to do God’s will. If you do not have enough time right now, it means one of several things is going on:
· You’re doing something God never intended for you to do.
· You’re not doing what God intended you to do.
· You’re doing the right thing in the wrong way.
God would not give you a purpose in life and then not give you the time to do it. So if you don’t have enough time to do everything you need to do, it means God didn’t expect you to do it all.