As we go through various phases of life, we use time differently. During the COVID-19 crisis how are you using the time?
The most common complaint for many people is, “I don’t have enough time.” Yet during this lockdown period many, although not all, have more free time.
A few years ago, a blog entry challenged me. It stated, “The time spent on social media will stand as a witness against us when we plead ‘I did not have enough time to read my Bible and pray’’’. How true those words are, yet I am not sure they had the full impact in my life that they should have had.
During this current crisis, the increased free time, from decreased activities, is ours to use. We have a responsibility to use the time that God has given us wisely.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
God’s instruction to His people is for them to show diligence and care in how they conduct themselves. Their walk is to be marked by wise choices that would please the Lord. The way of the fool is to make unwise choices!
How does a Christian believer know what is a wise choice?
Helpfully the next verse in Ephesians 5 informs us that to be wise we need to know the Lord’s will, which is found in His Word.
“do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
God, by His grace, has not left the believer without instruction as to what His will is; He has clearly laid it out in scripture. We have all the resource that we need to make wise choices. Our problem is not a lack of information as to what is a wise way to use time but a lack of application.
The complaint “I don’t have enough time to read my Bible and pray” is, for many, rendered invalid during the lockdown. Sadly, it can highlight not a lack of time but a lack of desire. A lack of structure to the day can have a seriously negative impact on our lives. Our practices may be quite different to what they were a few months ago. As we reflect on our routine, or possibly lack of it, during COVID-19, let’s consider two proverbs, that remind us that God’s will for His people is that they should be industrious.
“As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed” (Proverbs 26:14).
Unless I am ill or incapacitated, more free time is not a reason to lie in my bed. That might be the way of the lazy, but it is not God’s will for the wise. Whenever possible, setting a routine for rising from sleep and ‘attacking the day’ is a great start to “redeeming the time”.
“The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!’” (Proverbs 16:13)
What sort of excuses do I make to avoid doing the work that I could do? We can use the inactivity of others as an excuse to be inactive. It is the child’s excuse, “They not doing it, why should I?” We must take responsibility for how we work. The COVID-19 crisis has plunged many of us into vastly different situations, but we are called to work and serve where we can.
If the change of circumstances has negatively impacted our routines and discipline, now is the time to change. God will provide the needed grace and wisdom for believers who really want to begin to use their time wisely.