The last week or so I have been analyzing the way I spend my time. Even with all my extra time, I was not accomplishing anything worthwhile, and I knew something needed to be changed. So, I began to think about how I spent my time. Thanks to God's working through my years of piano teacher training, I have enough self-discipline that procrastinating on homework has not been an issue so far. I was completing my homework, but not accomplishing much else during the day, which was discouraging.
In the midst of evaluating how I was spending my time, I came across a transcript of a radio broadcast by John MacArthur called, “Making the Hard Decisions Easy”, which was very thought-provoking. (If you’re interested in reading it, go to: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-24) In this sermon, MacArthur gives ten questions to help one to know if the things one is spending time on are truly worthwhile. Between that and the challenges at the ladies’ retreat I went to this weekend, the Lord really started to show me some areas in which I need to be more faithful with my time.
By God’s grace, the issue for me is not so much whether the things I am spending time on are bad or not, but rather, which good thing I ought to be spending my time on at a given moment. For example: reading, writing letters or e-mails to friends, writing posts for this blog, playing the piano –none of these things are inherently bad, but they may not be the best thing for me to be doing if there is something more important to do. Spending time reading in my room is not a bad thing, unless Mommy needs help in the kitchen or Tris wants me to come see his newest project in the garage. It is merely a matter of choosing that which is best.
I am reminded of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. While Martha was bustling around getting a meal ready and making sure everything was perfect for Jesus, Mary sat at His feet, hanging on His every word. In the midst of all the stress of the day, Martha becomes indignant at her sister’s apparent inactivity. When she asks Jesus to tell her sister off, He rebukes her instead. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “Thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (vv.41-42)
Anything that gets in the way of our time with God, praying and reading His word, is not worth it. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” If I know that I should be spending time with God, but do something else instead, the Bible says that is sin. Not that the other thing is necessarily evil, it’s just not best, and it’s coming between me and God. It is sin. The same principle applies to other areas as well. Whenever I know I ought to be doing one thing, and I do another instead, then according to James 4:17, that is sin.
So, that’s what God has been teaching me this week.