Over the last year or so, I’ve been periodically sharing on stewardship. As you can tell by now, being a faithful steward over all God has given me is very important.
Especially when I consider that he owns it all. My job or purpose is to manage well everything he has given me.
This includes stewarding our finances and our talents.
Another thing he’s given us that we must faithfully steward is our time.
We can increase our financial resources by managing them smarter and working diligently. We can steward our talents by continuing to develop and strengthen them and use them for His kingdom.
But time is different. We can’t increase the time available to us. Each of us has only twenty-four hours a day. And, we don’t even know how much time we have on this earth.
Which raises the question: How do we steward our time to do all we want to accomplish for God?
In the early stages of my writing career, I complained to my mentor, DiAnn Mills, that I didn’t have enough time to write. Her advice, “Get up earlier.” And it worked. I didn’t add any more hours to my day. I chose to use the hours I had differently. Getting up earlier gave me one-and-a-half hours of writing time I didn’t have before. And I did it without taking away from my wife, our church involvement, or my full-time job.
Now I write full time, but I still consciously steward my time. I make sure I provide for my time with God, my time with my wife, my church and ministry, and my writing time.
One thing I’ve learned is the importance of the Sabbath rest. My pastor, Robert Morris, recently released an excellent book on this subject called, Take the Day Off.
In Genesis, we discover God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). Does God need to rest? No. He’s God.
In his resting, he revealed a crucial element about stewarding our time: we need to rest. We need to take time from our labors in the kingdom to physically and spiritually rest. We all need to take a Sabbath at least once a week.
Sabbath isn’t limited to Sunday. Pastors and church staff work Sundays, so their Sabbath is another day during the week. The same principle applies to those of us who must work Sundays, especially if we’re in a service industry or a vital first responder field.
Before becoming a writer, I worked in social services. Ten-to-twelve-hour days (or longer) were all too common, and I was on-call 24/7. Sabbaths were hard to come by unless I decided to declare one. My walk in the Lord wasn’t fully developed in this area, yet I knew I needed to rest my body at least one day per week.
Another area to explore is how we are using our non-Sabbath time. Taking an inventory of how we’re spending our time every day will help us ensure we’re tending to the critical things: relationships with God and our families, time for church, time for serving others, and recreational time. The biggest time wasters I’ve found are television and electronics. Yes, we need to relax every day, but I know I still spend too much time in front of the TV or on my iPad and laptop doing things that waste time.
What are some things you do to steward the time God has given you?