Today’s Truth

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12, NLT).

Friend to Friend

I once read an African proverb, “Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down.” The first time I read those words, I immediately thought of my husband who often says, “Honey, it really is okay for you to sit down and rest.” I tend to work myself into what my mama called a “tizzy.”

I have back problems … but sometimes pride myself on how much pain I can handle … instead of doing what I need to do. Rest.

I struggle with clinical depression every single day … but have been known to ignore the warning signs that it is time for me to stop, be still, and rest.

I have to admit I struggle with the idea of rest. For years, I measured my worth by how much I did and how well I did those things. Then I crashed and burned. For two years, I sat at the bottom of a deep dark pit of clinical depression. I learned many important lessons – one of which was my innate need for solitude and rest.

Solitude is deliberately setting aside time to “sit down” at the feet of Jesus. It is in those still, quiet moments of solitude at His feet that we can more clearly hear God speak. I also learned that in order to practice solitude, I needed a new perspective on time. In short, I needed to learn how to budget my time and invest it wisely – instead of carelessly spending it.

Time is a precious gift. Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day, and every night erases what we fail to use. If we use it in the wrong way, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Un-budgeted time gravitates to our weaknesses, is stolen by others, or wasted on the unimportant. We must budget time, just as Jesus did.

Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52 NIV).

At the age of 12, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with His parents for the annual Passover Celebration. When they discovered Jesus was missing, they assumed He was traveling with friends. He wasn’t. Jesus was in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers and asking them questions (2:46).

My first reaction would probably have been encouraging Jesus to continue learning, asking and answering questions, basking in the looming recognition and acclaim. Instead, Jesus returned home where – for 18 to 20 years – He simply grew and matured mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. We need to do the same.

I love the verse: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NLT).

Jesus Christ budgeted His time wisely, resulting in a balanced life of fulfilled purpose. We can live the same kind of life – if our priorities are right.

Our priorities need to line up with God’s plan and purpose for our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that “there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.” If we don’t set life priorities other people will.

We need to schedule priorities – setting aside chunks of time for the important things in life. Ecclesiastes 8:5b-6a (AMP) warns, “For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight.” Solitude – time alone with God does not just happen. We have to make it happen.

We must also stick to our priorities. The apostle Paul teaches us to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16 NIV). Every challenge will either wreck our priorities or affirm them. Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.

One day, we will all stand before the Father and give an account of how we invested our time. Today, examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God. Make a new commitment to invest your time wisely.

Let’s Pray

Father, I recognize my need for time alone with You. I lay down my schedule, my agenda, and anything else in my life that would keep me from that time. Please forgive me for the way I often squander away the minutes, hours, and days of my life. Give me the power to invest time wisely.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Is rest something you find hard to do? How can you integrate solitude into your schedule?

More from the Girlfriends

Need help with time management? Check out Mary’s E-Study, Time: Friend or Foe, for practical ways to invest your time wisely.

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© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

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12 Responses to “A Budget for Time”

  1. Dawn says:

    Mary, I’ve always been drawn to you. I believe you crawled right out of my brain and wrote this devotional! 3 years ago I made the choice to set my alarm clock an hour earlier than I needed to get up in the mornings. I spend that hour, while everyone else is sleeping and the house is quiet, to spend time with God before my day begins. I have never regretted that choice! Thank you for writing these beautiful devotionals.

  2. Bernadette says:

    Good morning. I don’t know how to stop going. From the minute I get up on mornings after having devotions, I begin to work. Either I wash clothes, well most times I wash clothes. Is like I can’t keep still.

    Thank you for encouraging me to pray about how I use my time. I never thought about praying about it.

  3. Carol says:

    Good Morning, Mary. Thank you for this reminder, for those of us that are multi-taskers.
    If anything I’ve learned this past summer is priorities.
    God knew I was struggling with time balance with Him. He knew I needed to slow down and I needed to realize, if I wasn’t strong physically and spiritually, I wasn’t going to be productive at anything.
    I’m slowly getting my health back, and I’m working with God to get stronger in my disciple-ship.
    Resting is something I need to recognize is a necessity; it is not laziness.
    Thank you for your prayer. I will be praying your words today.

  4. Sheila says:

    I am praying for each person that has replied to your devotional this morning. I get up each morning and read my GIG, And then get on with other devotions. I have started journaling my prayer time I find that keep me focused because if not my mind wonders off to other things that I am wanting to get done and I know this is not pleasing to God. When I put God first each morning my day goes so much better. It is hard to stop going, multi tasking and doing for others. There are days I won’t stop going until I’m just before tears and all the while I find myself asking God just give a little bit more strength in this day. I pray I can slow down and put my spiritual life first. I want to make changes and I know God will help me turn this around

  5. Tiffany says:

    Thank you, Mary! I took so many notes lol. Clearly I needed this today. Now to the applying.

    God has been revealing to me more and more just how much He values and promotes rest; He knows we need it. Alongside that, I’m also learning that panic and hurry are not the language of God.

  6. Donna Jones says:

    This writing is an answer to my prayers. I know I have been working myself into a tizzy and I’ve been sensing in my spirit that it is time for change. Thank you for the enlightening way you wrote of budgeting our time.

  7. Dawn, thank you for your kind and encouraging words!I’m so glad the Father uses my devotions to speak His truth to your heart. You are right. Getting up an hour early was and is a great decision! Keep up the good work!


  8. Bernadette, I hear ya! Learning to stop has been the hardest habit I have worked to develop. Still working on it. But if I don’t stop, the Father will help me. And He will do the same for you. Start small. Set aside 15 minutes each day to just rest and be! Then make it 30 minutes a day. God will help you and honor your decision to obey. Blessings!

  9. Carol,I am so glad you are feeling better! Praying that as you recover, your heart and soul will find continued peace in Him. Hang in there, friend! Blessings!

  10. Hey friend, I totally get it! Know you are not alone and that I am praying for you as you seek Him! Blessings!

  11. Tiffany, I know! The application part of obedience is hard. It’s not enough to know what to do … we actually have to do it! Praying for you now. Blessings!

  12. Donna, working yourself into a tizzy is no good. I should know. I am really good at it! So glad God used the devotion to touch your life. Blessings!

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8