Living for Christ Today
By HEATHER COFER
I walked into our bedroom late one night at the end of a very busy, long week … and there it was. The pile of laundry that had been slowly growing for several days now loomed in front of me like an insurmountable summit of shirts and socks and towels. It hadn’t grown to that size all at once; it was one load here, another load there, and a lot of “I’ll get to that later.” Rather than ending the week with all the laundry in nice, neat piles in our closet, they were still in a big, jumbled heap. The moment-by-moment decisions I had made throughout the week had left extra work for me now.
That is a rather humorous example of a pattern that can cause even greater consequences in other situations. Sure, I could have easily justified that I had been extremely busy and that when I finally went to bed that night, I just didn’t have the energy to tackle one more thing. But were there any moments in the day when, instead of diligently doing the task in front of me, I had chosen to spend my time on something that would create more difficulty for me later on?
Our lives are a span — past, present, and future. But the only time we live in is now. Our choices in the past affect where we are currently, and our choices in the present affect our future. It is so easy to think (often subconsciously) that what we do right now “isn’t such a big deal.” Whether it is those extra fifteen minutes on Facebook, the decision to eat that third brownie, or entering into that bit of gossip, we need to realize that our choices now have an impact on what is to come, for good or for ill.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Redeeming the time doesn’t mean filling it with as many things as you possibly can; it means “to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good.” Often, redeeming the time looks very different than we picture it. Whereas we may have visions of grand endeavors, God may call us to sweep the floor … or finish our college paper … or hold a sick baby all day long. The people who have been world-changers for the sake of the Gospel had lives that were full of mundane, simple tasks. And before God called them to those “world changing” arenas, they had years of proving faithful in the little things.
Maybe you are one who tends to laziness, or maybe you are someone who fills their days with too much. Whatever the case, here are some simple ways to help you use today for God’s glory.
Be with Jesus
No matter how busy a day may be, Jesus should always be our first turn. This doesn’t mean just having our quiet time; it means being intentional to wake up seeking Him, walk through the day seeking Him, and go to bed seeking Him. When we are focused on Him, we will be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in each moment. When your eyes open in the morning, pray and commit your day to Him. When you are tempted to give in to laziness, ask Him for help to resist. And, most of all, simply delight in being with Him. Take any quiet moments you have to spend intentional time in His presence. That will always be time well used.
God loves to give wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” As you seek God’s wisdom through prayer and study of His Word in regards to how to spend your time well, He will give it to you! God has also given us a wealth of wisdom in godly men and women who have gone before us. Reading Christian biographies can give great insight into how others have used their time well. Also, you can consider asking for advice from people you know who are faithful with their time.
Sometimes it can be difficult, in everything that we already have to do, to figure out what things are most important to do. This can result in becoming overwhelmed and not accomplishing anything (yes, I speak from personal experience). If this is the case for you, set aside some time to sit down with a notebook, planner, computer, or whatever is most convenient for you, and write down everything you have to do in a day. Figure out which tasks are most important, and make it a priority to get those things done (often, they are also the hardest ones). Having a well-planned schedule also creates more room for flexibility, because you are not constantly “behind.” That way, if someone drops by needing to talk, you have an unexpected guest for dinner, or you are asked to watch a friend’s children, you are more free to say yes without feeling frazzled for not accomplishing other tasks.
Jonathan Edwards said, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” Living in light of the fact that what we do today matters for eternity will keep our minds sharp for the tasks before us. Our lives are a vapor, as James 4:14 says. We have so little time and we must live worthy of the calling we have received as Christians, to reflect Him every moment of every day. If Jesus returns in our lifetime, we want Him to find us living for His glory. And when we see Him face to face, what joy it will be to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant … Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matt. 25:21).