Why You Should Steward Your Time, Not Just Your Money
“Time is money.”
How true this is!
Time is also a gift. In fact, it’s the most valuable resource you and I will ever have. The way we use it will influence our earning potential, the way we spend our money, the quality of our relationships, and our overall health.
Time is also the ultimate equalizer – no matter who you are or where you were born, you have the exact same 24 hours each day and the freedom to decide how you’re going to use them.
I was recently listening to a podcast featuring best-selling author and speaker, Rory Vaden as a guest. Rory explained why the idea of “time management” is so dangerous – because time is impossible to manage. You can only manage yourself.
Time will keep going, whether or not you’re paying attention, so instead of trying to manage it, we should focus on maximizing it.
The simplicity of this truth struck me, because it transfers the ownership of my day-to-day schedule from time to me. I can never be a victim of “busyness” or a “crowded schedule” because I have allowed, granted access to, every single item on my calendar. Time didn’t overbook my day. I did.
The significance of our responsibility to use our time well increases as believers in Christ. If time is our most valuable resource, and God has given us the freedom to use it however we want, then time, more than anything, should be subject to Christ.
How contradictory for me to surrender my paycheck to Kingdom purposes, but not the way I spend my day. You could easily liken it to the Parable of the Talents – two men used the resources they were given wisely and multiplied their money. One man was lazy with the resources he was given and he was punished. While we can’t multiply time itself, how we use it will determine our multiplication elsewhere.
But today our time is something advertisers, marketers, friends, family, and coworkers have to compete for. We are constantly distracted, excusing our lack of focus by calling it “multi-tasking”.
In a recent article from the World Economic Forum, James Hewitt explains our constant distractions from technology like this:
“Our smartphones buzz with notifications throughout the day and night; we accept relentless distraction as the default option. Habitual checking on missed calls and messages can become an addictive pattern of behaviour, increasing stress and disturbing sleep. More than 90% of people multi-task during meetings. 42% of us admit to reading and responding to e-mail in the bathroom. 70% of us check e-mail while watching TV. When we find the opportunity to rest, 34% of us admit to using social media as a form of mental break.”
I wonder what the Parable of Talents would have sounded like in today’s culture. Perhaps the “wicked and slothful” man who did nothing with the money would have been too distracted with his various social profiles and busy work schedule that he just didn’t feel like he had time to invest.
When the stewardship of our time and money work together, our potential for the Kingdom increases exponentially.
What kind of potential for the Kingdom are we wasting every day by our glorified multi-tasking?
Time At Work
When an employee uses his time wisely and productively, he becomes a better employee and may receive a raise, promotion, or new career opportunities. When a mom uses her time throughout the week wisely to plan, budget, and organize, she saves money at the grocery store, reduces her stress, and increases her resourcefulness.
The inverse is also very true – the more time you waste, the faster your earning potential decreases and the more money you waste. In fact, sometimes poor use of your time can cost you significantly more than overspending would.
The Bible talks extensively about using our time well – Proverbs reminds us to ask the Lord, “To teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Guarding our hearts and minds has a significant influence on how we spend our time, and money.
More than anything, we should steward our time wisely in order to serve God. But many of us are too busy. Crown’s founder, Larry Burkett, said it perfectly – that sometimes we are too busy doing things for God that we neglect to do the things of God.
Decide to be the best user-of-time you can be. As you work your budget, improve your savings strategy, and increase your giving, pray for wisdom on how to increase your productivity as well.
Honor God in the way you do your job, the amount of time you spend on social media, and how interact with others. Just like making a budget forces you to cut the excess out, organizing your time will force you to make disciplined sacrifices as well. It may mean waking up an extra 15 minutes early in the morning or deleting Facebook off your phone to meet with the Lord instead, but it may be the key to hearing, “well done, good and faithful servant”.
One way to learn how to live everyday as a good steward and use your time well is with Crown’s online MoneyLife Personal Finance Study. It has just 7 lessons and is completely self-paced so you can fit it into your newly improved schedule. It’s both practical and biblical and will help you take the next steps towards finding freedom in your finances.