Someone recently brought a subject worth reading and talking about to my attention: Time Robbers
Here was my response to their question…
*1.* Believe it or not, it’s not really the devil who steals our time with distractions. The Bible says that our own sinful lusts entice us to sin. Of course, not every distraction leads to sin. Some just lead to other things. “Only SIN is sin.” Many things are just things of preference. But, if I allow myself to get distracted from taking care of my family or from not putting God first in my life, then I am an idolator, worshipping my own selfish desires. This is not necessarily the devil’s fault….. blame shifting is simply not taking responsibility for our actions.
*2.* So, that would mean he really doesn’t derail our priorities either. Discipline is vital. Disciplining ourselves to spend qaulity time with the Lord is vital for many reasons. But if you don’t do it, is it really SIN? Most people who think so are depending on their own works to feel accepted by God. Others just feel guilty, because they think it is something they SHOULD be doing. Even then, they are setting their personal standards according to what they think, not what the Bible says about it. Besides, He knows our hearts better than ourselves. Even when we think our conscience is clear, Paul says only God can really judge that.
*3.* Discipline and well set priorities do bring Success and a form of peace. But our goal is never to feel a sense of pride for our self image – that’s humanism and can lead to idolatry. The Bible says that the joy OF the Lord , so HIS joy, is our strength for life, not our healthy self image. (Don’t misunderstand me, it’s important to think positive about ourselves and life. I just get bugged at the word “self” and the way “self image” is so imbalanced sometimes, because, quite frankly, God just gets left out of the picture.) And besides, real godly peace is found even in the midst of the worst scenarios.
*4.* Here are some quotes from “Shopping for Time” by Carolyn Mahaney:
We often throw away our time as if we had an endless supply and miss out on the best deals life has to offer and end up paying big time in guilt, anxiety and a lack of confidence that we’re really doing the will of God. We get overwhelmed by life’s choices and demands and sometimes lack fruitfulness in Christ’s kingdom. Eph. 5,15-6 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Look backward and ponder our mistakes so that we do not do them again.
Look forward to see where the course will lead.
Look inside to question our motives.
Look around to measure our fruitfulness.
Look beside us to receive critique, help and wisdom.
Most of all, look up and seek guidance from God’s Word.
In all of this, it is absurd to think that we can grow in godliness, conquer sin, or spend our time wisely all by ourselves. And this is one reason why we need to seek God. Choosing not to sit at His feet is basically saying: “I can do it without you. I don’t need to read your Word or pray or listen to your voice. I am competent all by myself, thank you very much.”
Life doesn’t always conform to our plans.(!!!!!!) Minor inconveniences disrupt and major trials can completely derail the best of goals and intentions. So, what do we do? C.S.Lewis wrote: “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “own” or “real” life. The truth is of course that that which one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s “real life” is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.”
Separate the most important from the not so important. a)Spouse (if you have one) – What one thing could I do today that would really bless her/him? b)Simplify – How can I make certain tasks easier – like use paper plates for lunch, so there’s no clean up. c)Size up our limitations. Only God accomplishes everything he needs to do, in exactly the way he intends. This truth helps us see the arrogant absurdity of expecting to complete our own to-do list. It frees us to humble ourselves and draw upon God’s strength to simply do what we can in busy seasons. (part quote, part me)
Might I add: A step would be to look inside and ask: “What do I cherish the most?” My actions are proof. This helps us make wise decisions. Why am I pressured to do certain things? It may be because my love for certain things or people is misplaced. It may also be because I’m believing lies. When you go shopping, you buy the best for the buck. Same with time. Distractions won’t enslave us, because of the things we CHERISH the MOST. It means just saying NO to a thousand other needs and/or options.
Last, but not least – It’s important to not see interruptions as negative, but as opportunities for God to sanctify our character, another opportunity to trust God, giving Him the reigns. He is big enough to see the ultimate purpose prevail.
Ps 118,24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
YOU CAN REST IN THE FACT THAT EVERY DAY HAS BEEN ORDAINED BY GOD AND IS FULL OF PURPOSE.