Summary: Life Management 101, part 3. This message examines Jesus’ use of time and challenges listeners to do what Jesus did with time - invest it, rather than spend it.
Recovering Your Life
Life Management 101, part 3
Wildwind Community Church
July 2, 2006
Do you spend your time, or do you invest it? Okay, not a fair question. How do you use MOST of your time? Would you say you spend or invest most of your time? What’s the difference? When you use time in a way that aligns with your deepest values and aspirations for who you want to be and what you want your life to accomplish in this world, you have invested it. When you use time in a way that does not, you have spent it. Example: Most of us value our children and have dreams for how they will grow up. Thus time with our children is never spent, it is invested. On the other hand, most of us will never earn money or prestige from watching television, nor will it do anything but make us fat (since we nearly always eat when we watch). Add to that the fact that watching television often keeps us from paying attention to those we love, and you’ve got a massive time-spending activity there.
So how do you use your time? A couple weeks ago I talked to you about sharpening the saw, about making sure that the physical, social, mental, and spiritual areas of your life are not neglected. But that presents us with a struggle, doesn’t it? After all, it often seems like we just don’t have time to go to the gym. We don’t have time to read. We don’t have time to go out with friends. We don’t have time to read our Bibles and pray. We say that all the time, don’t we?
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
We will in all things grow up. All things. We will grow up in the way we approach relationships. We will grow up in the way we approach our use of language. We’ll grow up in the way we approach the church. We will grow up in the way we approach prayer. We will grow up in the way we use our money. And we will grow up in the way we use the time that has been given to us.
Does it sound terrible for me to say we need to grow up in the way we think about our time? I don’t mean for that to sound bad, after all, that’s what every sermon is for, isn’t it? To help us grow up into Christ – to help us take the next baby step – to help us become more mature believers if in fact we are a believer, and more authentic seekers if we’re at the seeking stage.
Friends I have one primary goal in this message today. I want to change the way you think and the way you speak about time. I want you to begin to deal with your time the way Jesus dealt with his time. I want to encourage you to see yourself the way God sees you – as a manager of all God has given you. Here’s a measurable goal. I want to influence enough of you about the way you think of time that it nearly puts an end to people at Wildwind uttering the phrase, “I don’t have time.” What if you decided today to stop saying that? You’d be forced to learn to think of time in a different way, wouldn’t you? And I think that’s what we need.
See the truth is that you do have time. You have all the time in the world. You have all the time your highly successful neighbor has. You have all the time Martha Stewart and Oprah have. Twenty-four hours a day. I don’t like the passive language we use with regard to time, folks, because it’s just a way of us not having to be responsible for what we do with our time. It’s easier to say I don’t have time than it is to admit that we really don’t value some of the things we have committed to doing for ourselves and others. It’s easier to allow others to make decisions for us about what to do with our time than to take the bull by the horns and be the decision-makers. After all, if we let others decide what we do with our time, we get to blame them later when we get too busy. “I’d love to be home with my family but the boss has me working late again.” “I wish I could take my spouse away for the weekend, but AYSO scheduled games this weekend. “I know there’s only one shot this year to catch my daughter’s dance recital, but what can I say? I have to go to this meeting.” And on and on we go, living our lives that way, and then we wonder why we’re burned out and unhappy. As the rock band Switchfoot sings, “We were meant to live for so much more – have we lost ourselves? Somewhere we live inside.” Have you lost track of your life somewhere? Is your real life buried someplace under all the obligations you’ve taken on? It’s time to recover your life.