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Today’s Truth

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time (Colossians 4:5, NRSV).

Friend to Friend

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with time management. I don’t even like the word management! What about you?

Time management is a dreaded and often ignored spiritual discipline. We choose where to invest our time, carefully planning everything from work-related meetings and lunch appointments to play dates and trips to the grocery store – but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God. Discipline carves out time to sit at His feet.

Sin thrives in a life without godly discipline. Temptation happily dances across overcrowded schedules. Our minutes, hours, and days are precious commodities, gifts from God that can be unwrapped only once.

The apostle Paul says we are to make the most of our time so that we don’t miss an opportunity to share Christ with others.

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time (Colossians 4:5, NRSV).

I know what it is like to rush headlong through pointless days, trying to prove my worth. For many years, I was busy doing good things … some might even say great things … but they were not the highest things for my life. I crashed and burned, landing in a pit of clinical depression, a monument to my insecurity.

From the bottom of that pit, it was easy to see just how skewed my perspective of time really was. I needed to understand that my time does not belong to me. It is a treasure on loan to me from God.

Godly priorities embrace God’s plan.

I am convinced that much of our frustration in life comes from doing things we were never intended to do. Discipline guides each step and establishes a basis for obedience and success in our walk with God.

I am certainly no expert in the area of discipline, but I can share some simple ideas that work for me.

Prepare        

Just as we budget our money, we must budget our time. Every day, we are presented with twenty-four hours, and every day we must choose to either spend those hours or invest them. Every Sunday afternoon, I plan the week ahead. I assign tasks to each day and prioritize those tasks in order of importance. Schedule one day a week to plan. The preparation will pay off.

Prioritize

If we don’t set priorities – others will do it for us. Time thieves will steal the hours and days as we allow them to impose their plans and demands on us. While it is true that different women have different priorities in different seasons of life, it is also true that one priority remains steadfast. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33, NIV). Once that priority is firmly established, the rest of life will fall into place.  

Eliminate

Learn to leave the “lesser” things undone. This lesson is especially hard for me because I actually believe I can do it all. Choosing to embrace and employ God’s priorities instead of mine is a battle definitely worth fighting. Godly discipline brings a holy scrutiny to priorities and perspectives.

Yield

My greatest mission field is my home, my marriage, and my children and grandchildren. It does not matter how much I do or how successful I am in ministry. If home and family are left with only the scraps of my time, energy, and emotions, I am walking in sin and disobedience. I must learn to surrender my plan to the Father and seek His plan instead.

Discipline does not come naturally or easily. We will surely fail, but we can always begin again. Join me today in a new commitment to cultivate, apply, and relish godly discipline so we can make the most of the time God gives us.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want my life to be under Your control – not mine. Help me learn how to wisely invest my time in a way that pleases and honors You. Teach me how to set boundaries and establish priorities that will encourage my obedience to You.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read the following statements and check the ones that are true in your life.

___I have too much to do and too little time in which to do it.

___I enjoy my family.

___I have a daily quiet time.

___I spend most of my time on urgent things instead of the important things.

___I often feel guilty for taking time to relax.

___I have prayerfully set life goals.

Evaluate your answers in light of today’s devotion. Identify one change you need to make in order to invest your time wisely.

More from the Girlfriends

Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful? Check out Mary’s two E-Book Bible Studies: The Secret of Contentment and The Power of Forgiveness. Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study.

Check out Mary’s blog! Sign up today and receive a FREE MP3 download of “Strength For The Storm.” Just click here.

© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

 

7 Responses to “Time Management 101”

  1. MsMax says:

    “Godly priorities embrace God’s plan.” THIS right here ‘jumped at me, and then prepare-prioritize-eliminate-yield framed the meaning of discipline simply and succinctly.

    Thank you for today’s devotional.

  2. Carol says:

    Thank you, Mary for this detailed comprehensive plan.
    Your statement, “Learn to leave the lesser things undone”; that’s me.
    I turn myself into “Martha” and then when I’m in the middle of, whatever…. I think, “Jesus would want me to remember that I should be more concerned about my time spent with Him”(Luke 10:38-41).
    Discipline. It is the one area of my life, that I didn’t realize, was such a problem. Multitasking, was something I wore like a badge of honor.
    Now, as a disciple, I have to keep open time for my Savior, so I know how to do my job better.
    Thanks, Mary for this mindfulness plan. I’ll be using your plan as a new discipleship tool.

  3. I know what you mean! Discipline is an ongoing battle for me. I just have to be realistic about who I am … confess that sin … accept God’s forgiveness and through His grace begin again! Blessings, Carol.

  4. You are so welcome, friend. That truth that God’s plan embraces God’s priorities. I just need to live it out every day.

  5. Randi says:

    Mary thank you so very much for all you put into us and teach us! Thanking the Lord for you and GIG!!!

  6. Randi, you are so welcome! It’s my honor and privilege! Blessings!

  7. Mimi says:

    Thank you Mary! So timely. I have been reviewing and studying another Time Management class for work but your TM101 puts it all into perspective. God is using you to teach me time management His way, to redeem my time, to remember that it is a gift from Him, that I should be a faithful steward of. May God continue to guide you as a vessel to touch and change my life.

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"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