“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty …” (Prov. 21:5).- Proverbs 10:4, 26; 21:5
Last week we examined some common stumbling blocks to the effective use of our God-given time. Today we will explore some ways in which you can redeem the time. This lesson will serve as a bridge to the focus of our studies this month: work. The work ethic has unfortunately become a foreign concept to many in our day. Part of the problem resides in an unwise use of time. For the work ethic to be revived, the values of diligence, punctuality, commitment, order, and, most of all, an awareness of man’s responsibility before God to spend his time in His service and to His glory must be restored. By no means does this not mean that every person should be in full-time ministry. It does mean, however, that all you and I do should be done in a way that will cast no shadow on the name of Christ.
If you want to use your time to the best of your ability, you need to form a habit of persevering diligence. William Sprague once wrote, “Make it a rule never to allow yourself to be idle, when your health and circumstances will permit you to be active. If you once form an industrious habit, you will never afterwards be able to content yourself in a state of inactivity; and on the other hand, if you begin life with a habit of indolence, you will probably never after acquire a relish for vigorous exertion. In whatever circumstances Providence may place you, take care that the whole of your time be employed; and consider the first inroads of indolence as a melancholy harbinger of the wreck of your usefulness and the loss of your reputation. There is one caution however which I would suggest in connection with this point—it is, that you should never suffer yourself to be in a hurry. Let the demands upon your time be ever so numerous, endeavor to keep your mind perfectly composed, and address yourself to your various avocations as calmly as if you were insensible of their pressure. The moment you become agitated by care, you well-nigh lose the power of doing anything to purpose.”
Be as diligent and hard-working as your health will permit, but never become so consumed by activity that you are unable to accomplish your goals. Avoid idleness, be active, but avoid over committing yourself.
During the day today, consciously fill every moment with productive activity (including eating and necessary rest). Refrain from wasting time. If you find your day filled already, are you doing too much? Are you often rushed? If so, think about what you need to restructure or cut out to enable you to accomplish your goals well.
Passages for Further Study
Proverbs 12:24; 12:27; 19:15; 22:29
2 Thessalonians 3:6–15