Time is an interesting stewardship topic. I know, I know, I know. When I say stewardship what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Money, of course. For a follower of Christ, stewardship certainly has a money dynamic to it but stewardship goes far beyond just money. For many decades the church has made the words stewardship and money mean the same thing and it is far past time to make it clear that stewardship encompasses so much more of our lives. Money yes but also time, gifts, relationships all of these kinds of things.
When it gets right down to it time is equally, if not more valuable, than money. Sounds crazy to say that but when we stop and think about whether we’d have rather have more money in our pocket or more time in our day, more time in our life, where is the priority? We live in a 24/7 world where we seem to be running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wouldn’t we give much for an extra hour each day?
Not to mention, we don’t have so many days in our lives that wasting any is a good idea. Keeping things in perspective, we have about 25,000 days in our lives. If you’re in the front half of that count it sounds like a lot of days but if you’re in the back half of that 25,000 you know it really isn’t that much time. How many of us would like an extra day here and there? What would we give to have that extra day?
It kind of comes down to the way we use your time. The way we steward our time. What if we used the same approach with the care of our time as financial planners suggest we do with the care of our money? Financial planners say things like take the first 10% of your money and give back to God. Take the second 10% and put it into savings. And then do what you will in living with the rest.
Maybe this is just crazy talk but maybe the way we care for our time is similar? Give God the first 10% of our time, save 10% of our time and do what we will in living with the rest?
This is the heart of stewardship in whatever form it takes. Making God the priority and being wise with the gifts that God gave us. All the time that we have is a gift from God and wise stewardship says that we give God some time. Time in prayer, time in worship, time in recognizing that the creation around us is brought to us by God Time in Bringing Christ’s Love to Life and letting the world know that God is faithful and true.
Saving time doesn’t work quite the same way as saving money. You can’t really put time in a time bank and come back later to get some. That’d be a beautiful thing. Hey, I’ve got an extra ten minutes today. I think I’ll put that in the bank that so I have it next week when I have to ______________. Go to the time ATM and withdraw the time you need. There’s an app for that, call it up on your phone and transfer the money online. The reality is it doesn’t work quite like that. We may not be able to save for the future but we can certainly invest for the future. And the return on the investment has a much higher rate of return than our 401ks.
Investing our time for the future can cover a lot of ground. The daily faith acts in the home, the FAITH5 of sharing, reading, talking, praying and blessing certainly comes to mind. If we invest 15 minutes a day in our families what does that look like 10 years from now? Fifteen years from now?
There are no hard and fast answers as to how an individual stewards their time wisely. There are too many variables in each of our lives. The one thing I will guarantee though is that intentionally making time for God AND investing our time for the future will have deep and profound effects on our lives. If you’ve got it figured out and your life is perfect then keep on keeping on. For the rest of us that don’t live in that delusion then give some serious thought to giving back to God and investing in the future. It will make a difference for the better in your life and it will make a difference for the better in other’s lives.
In doing this, we give God the glory.