Do You Have Time?

For many years, sociologists have told us that the most valuable commodity in our modern society is time. Countless books, seminars, and workshops dedicated to time management have been designed to help people maximize productivity and success through the efficient use of time. But whose time is it?

All that we are and all that we have has been given to us by God, including our time—every second of our life. Like everything else in our life, including our talent and treasure, our time belongs to God and has been entrusted to our care by the owner, to whom we are responsible and accountable for its use. Time management for the Christian is an act of stewardship. Every decision we make about the use of every second of time throughout our life is a stewardship decision. Holy Scripture contains extensive instructions for the godly use of our time and an expectation that a ten-percent tithe of all that God has entrusted to us—including our time—be dedicated directly to God’s work. What constitutes a tithe of our time—2.4 hours of every day?

For someone active in a church, this is easier than it might seem. A tithe of time could include time spent in activities such as worship, prayer, Bible study, book studies, devotional reading, service on boards or committees, volunteer work in mission, and other sharing of the person’s spiritual gifts and talents. It could include participation in ministries outside the church or hands-on care for someone in need. If we find that we are spending less than an average of 2.4 hours per day in God’s work, we can look for ways to grow our stewardship of time—along with our talent and treasure—toward, to, and beyond the tithe. When making any decision about time allocation, we can stop and ask ourselves: Is this God’s work? Can I ask God to bless what I am about to do? This will help us to grow into a deeper understanding of our stewardship of time, realizing that every decision we make about the use of “our” time is actually a decision about the use of time that belongs to God.

So the next time someone asks you “Do you have time?” you can honestly answer: “Yes, but it doesn’t belong to me.”