"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16
It is important to know what time it is but it is more important to know what to do with time. That is the essence of what Paul is telling the Christians at Ephesus.
Here he equates wisdom with the careful use of time and wasting time is unwise. Obviously, since time is what life is made of using time wisely makes a lot of sense. Who can afford to waste time?
Andy Stanley says, "You can overeat, overachieve, overspend but you can't over live."
Wise people, careful people, make "the most of every opportunity" . Or literally, they "redeem" and "max out" the time.
It takes careful and prayerful planning to "max out" each hour of each day.
A wise person once told me, "Brad, if you don't set your schedule other people will set it for you."
So, I set out to learn wise time-management skills.
One of the wisest time management tips I ever received was from Steven Covey's book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People". In this book he talks about the difference between the important and the urgent when prioritizing time.
Important refers to anything related to your life purpose. Urgent refers to situations that are random and unexpected. Often, urgent situations arise out of your failure to plan wisely.
In order to know what is important you must understand your purpose and have well-defined goals. Otherwise, you will get distracted and derailed by the urgent. While it is possible something can be urgent and important, urgency is often the biggest challenge to the important.
As a Christ-follower, important would apply to spiritual truths that have eternal significance. Living out the Great Commandment is important. Carrying out the Great Commission is important. Ordering your daily schedule around those priorities is wise living. And when the random things happen you can evaluate if it is important or an interruption.
What time is it in your life?
Have you lived long enough to regret wasted time?
Is it time to live more wisely?
Do you know what on earth you're doing for Heaven's sake?
Does your daily schedule reflect that?
As you look over your to-do list for today, how many important things are on it?
Are there more urgent things or important things?