Daily Devotional for Friday March 28, 2003

How we spend our time

(Ephesians 5:15,16)

How we spend our time. As many of you know, I am a very big sports fan (especially Ohio State football!). Sports has been a part of my life since I was very little. I have played most sports competitively all of my life, and have always followed all sports at all levels. Most weekends, I usually spend several hours in front of the television watching whatever sporting event is on. While it is something that I enjoy, there are some weekends that I overdo it and wonder if that was the best use of my time. As I have stated in past Devotionals, each day is a wonderful gift from God. It is unique unto itself, and when it is over it is never coming back. The one equalizer all people enjoy in life is that we each get 24 hours a day. The issue then becomes how we use that time God gives us each day.

I am a firm believer in balance. I believe the Bible teaches us to live balanced lives. Balance between our work, our family, our time of relaxation, and our time serving God. Of course, throughout all of this, the thread that runs through every aspect of our life is our personal relationship with the Lord. That is with us at all times, and is a part of everything that we do. We can't delegate our relationship with Christ to being just a part of our life, it must be the common element in ALL of our life.

Having said that, I want to encourage you and challenge you today to take 15 minutes and sit down with a legal pad. Set up the following categories down the left hand side of the page. Work/School, Family, Recreation, Serving God, Sleep. Now, there are 168 hours in a week. As best as you can, fill in the amount of hours you spend in each category. The family time is the time you spend with your spouse and/or children doing things together. The recreation time includes TV, the Internet, as well as any hobbies you may have. Time involved in church activities and worship would be included in the Serving God section. A good balance would be 40-50 hours in Work/School, 40-50 hours in Sleep, and 20-30 hours a week in Family, Recreation, and Serving God. Now of course this will vary depending on your living situation and other factors, but it will at least give you some idea in black and white of how you are spending your time.

The purpose of this is two-fold. First, to again get you to realize that in ALL aspects of our life, our personal relationship with Christ must be present. Secondly though, most people I have counseled in this area over the years end up with the Family, Recreation, and Serving God sections totally out of balance. It is usually weighted heavy in the Recreation area. Most need to make an effort to turn off the TV and computer more, and spend more time with the family and in ways to serve the Lord. We often use the TV, computer, books, and hobbies as avenues of escape. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you keep it in balance with the rest of your life. It is a problem however, when we fail to deal properly with our family issues and commitments, or have no time to help out at the church, but always seem to find time to watch TV or do the things we enjoy.

I love you and care about you so much!!! I don't need to say any more about this. The Holy Spirit is more than able to take these words and convict those who need it in this area of your life. I will be praying for you today, that you pay attention to how you are spending your time. Never forget that each day is a precious gift from God and we are to be good stewards of all that God gives us, including our time. The Lord has brought these words into your life today to show you how much He loves you. He wants you to be the very best that you can be and know ALL of His blessings in your life. The fact is, the time we have in this life is so very brief. While we need to balance our time as we live in this world, let us never forget that everything we are, and everything we have, including our time, belongs to Him.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller