Another weekend is here, and once again I am overwhelmed by my to-do list. There are so many things to get done, and I am praying for Spirit-filled productivity so that I can get to them all. I keep finding myself back on the hamster wheel, running in circles but getting nowhere!
God provides us with many resources that He expects us to use wisely. One of these resources is time, and we need to carefully consider how we spend it. We look at our bank statement to consider how we’re spending our financial resources, so wouldn’t it make sense to do the same thing with our schedule? We can identify the areas where we are wasting money, but what about the areas where we are wasting time? How often do we look back on our day and realize that we allowed time to slip through our hands without even realizing it?
Most of us keep tabs on our financial resources by keeping a budget. Our budget provides accountability and helps us ensure that our financial resources are being used in a God-honoring way. Would it also make sense to keep track of our time with a “time budget”?
…making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence] because the days are [filled with] evil. – Ephesians 5:16 AMP
What would a time budget look like? If it was similar to a financial budget, it might look something like this:
The Bible says that the first ten percent of our resources should be given back to God, so the first thing on our financial budget is our tithe. The rest of our finances won’t fall into place unless the tithe is the starting place. In the same way, the first thing on our time budget should be the time we spend in prayer and in the Word of God. If we don’t start with God, we won’t have a godly perspective for the rest of our time.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 NIV
Next on our financial budget is our savings. The money we set aside to prepare for the future and be ready for the unexpected. What would that look like in our time budget? What would we spend time on that would prepare us for the future and ready us for the unexpected? — Rest! — God rested, and He commanded us to do the same. If we don’t set aside time to rest our minds and bodies, we will damage our health and sap our energy leaving us unable to complete anything else on our to-do list.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones. – Psalm 127:2 NLT
Of course, our financial budget must also include our day-to-day provisions. Likewise, our time budget must include the things that are necessary to keep our homes and our families running smoothly. That might look different for everyone, but it would be things like going to work, cleaning our home, helping kids with homework, cooking dinner, etc.
Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. – Colossians 3:23 CSB
Finally, including money in our budget to enjoy life is important. God is not opposed to us having fun! He has given us senses with which to enjoy the world around us. He has wired us with passions and desires to explore as we live life on earth. And He has blessed us with people to develop relationships with. In our time budget, we must set aside time to enjoy life and the people in it.
I know that my life would run more smoothly if I were intentional about how I spend the time God gives me. Each day provides new opportunities to live a life that glorifies God. Staying focused on the things that matter and spending my time wisely will help me avoid looking back and wondering where all the time went!
Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. – Psalm 90:12 CSB