What Does the Bible Say About Time Management?

What Does the Bible Say About Time Management?

Well, of course, the Bible doesn’t use this phrase and that’s because the term wasn’t in use before about 1910. It was Frederick Winslow Taylor’s ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’ (1911), which ushered in the era of time and motion studies and conveyor belt efficiency. When you think about it, these strategies don’t really manage time, they manage the activities with which we fill our time, prioritizing activities and finding ways of completing them more efficiently.

If this all seems far removed from Scripture, then let’s take a closer look at what the Bible says. We were put on this Earth as stewards of Creation. The ‘Protestant Work Ethic’, a term coined in the 19th century by Carl Weber is central to the idea of the ‘American Dream’.

‘For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ 2 Thessalonians 3:10

God wants us to work and God wants us to rest. Jesus gave us the parable of the talents, which instructs us to use our time and our abilities in the service of God. There is, however, a profound distinction between business texts concerning time management and Scripture and that is: the basis on which we prioritize our activities.

‘As we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.’ 2 Corinthians 4:18

How many of us fill our lives with activity centered not on God but on our vanity and greed? Being busy, using your time efficiently, can also be a sin.

‘Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.’ Ephesians 5:15-17

This goes to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it: ‘understand what the will of the Lord is.’ Each day is a gift from God and we should use our time constructively and that means that our time should be spent in the service of God, not in pursuit of trinkets and transitory pleasures.

Our time on this Earth is brief but God operates outside of time.

‘But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ 2 Peter 3:8

We should live daily with eternity in mind, work hard in the service of God but always remember that time is a gift of God.

‘The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.’ Proverbs 27:1

Each day that we are given is a fresh opportunity to draw closer to God. We are of the world and we must make our way in the world and that is no sin, but if we give ourselves over to the world and fail to make the will of God our priority, then we are lost.

‘So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.’ Psalm 90:12


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