Mark Affleck

How are you spending your time?

August 23, 2016
Spiritual Growth

Stewardship of the talents and gifts God gives us can be gauged by how much of our time is spent on the day-to-day bustle of life, and how much is spent on spiritual growth and service.
“Make the most of your chances to tell unbelievers the Good News.  Be wise in all your contacts with them.”   Colossians 4:5
OK, great…what can I do to check how I’m spending my time relative to what God would have me do? Let’s take a look at that question.
First thing…Committing to the lordship of Christ in our lives and letting him determine how we spend our time is not about the end of a fun life and adhering to a list of dos and don’ts. Here’s an example:
At one of our small group meetings recently, we were discussing how to commit to the time we spend on our career to Christ. This was in the context of our nation’s anemic economic recovery and the lingering uncertainty around the world. The group’s consensus was that a focus on money was bad and potentially dangerous. Many seemed to think that the notion of being rich and a spiritually mature Christian simultaneously are incompatible.
I definitely do not believe in the prosperity gospel, but I also don’t believe wealth precludes a mature Christian life. The issue is this: Who runs your life and schedule? You or God?
Our focus should not only be on right or wrong, whether it relates to money or any other part of our lives in Christ. The question God asks is if there is anything keeping us from committing to and trusting him for everything in our life. So it is not necessarily the money, or the hobby, or the recreation (though it may be the habit). It is not necessarily about how much television we watch (but be careful!). It is whether or not those things and the time spent on them have impeded our walk with Christ in any way, or put anything or anybody ahead of him.
Most of this time question boils down to releasing control and how much we trust the Lord with our life’s breath in order to discern his will for our lives. If we understand that, then we can put our decisions about how we spend our time and money through a divine filter and ask God’s Spirit what he would have us do, and whether or not we are fulfilling heaven’s plan for our lives.
Releasing control is a hard test for us to take. We think, “I’m a Christian. I go to church and pray. I tithe and “sponsor a child in Africa.” What’s the problem?” The problem is how that kind of thinking puts us back in control of our lives. We put ourselves on a sliding scale based on what others are doing. Instead of automatically turning to what God says we ought to be and spend our time, we become boss again and adjust the parameters by the world’s standards.

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