How do you spend your time?

How do you spend your time?  Many people annually rank time management as top New Year Resolutions.  Spending time well is wise and works when one learns to prune and prioritize.  What would Jesus do became a popular catchphrase with bracelets and badges worn to show support for Jesus’ wise decision making and encouragement for His sheep to do the same.

How would Jesus spend His time?  While here on earth, Jesus was under the same time constraints as the rest of mankind.  He had twenty-four hour days throughout HIs life that was bordered by life and death - just like we do.  How amazing to think of Jesus living among HIs family, followers, and friends, who probably took HIs presence and (present) for granted…just as we do today.

Do you have a balanced life? Jesus did!  Though we don’t have a replay of his daily schedule, Luke sheds light on our how our Savior spent His time. 

Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

This verse helps us understand decisions Jesus made around the time HIs parents found Him in the temple, not a place your typical twelve year old would spend time teaching elders about God’s Word and ways.  Jesus spent time caring for HIs mind and body during the years that followed HIs temple experience until the time His public ministry began around the age of thirty.

Growing up and gaining favor with God and men was important for Jesus, as it is for you and me.  Jesus chose to spend time nurturing relationships with His Father in heaven and with people here on earth.  Lessons on time management He taught many years ago are spot on today. Spending time with the Lord and loved ones is a wise and wonderful way to live and stay closely connected.  

If Jesus was growing ‘in favor with God,’ then God approved of how Jesus was spending the time He’d been given.  Does God approve of the way you and I spend our time?  What takes top priority when planning how we will spend our time?    We should think on these things that make life lovely and spend time with our heavenly Father first. Then, a few of our favorite time takers should be caring for our mind, body, and relationships. 

Surely you are thinking of all the other needs that must be accomplished in a day: meals to be made, laundry to be washed, house to be cleaned, church and community activities, jobs with work that can overwhelm, and tons of tasks of making a living and caring for a family that take up a large portion of our time each day.  Many reading this story are carving time from other things you need to be doing. Making a living and trying to do things that fill our agendas can consume time and cripple relationships.

Luke 2:52 reminds us that it takes more than ‘making a living’ to make a life.   In other words, we make choices of how we spend our time that makes a difference in our happiness for life on earth and for eternity!

While reading this story, what thoughts have tendered your heart?  Have you been convicted of how you spend your time?  I have!  Can’t you just see Mary and Martha preparing that meal Jesus and close family and friends would share in their home?  Mary chose to take time from their busy schedule to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His stories.  Martha’s frustration kept her from enjoying precious time that could never be recalled. Housecleaning and cooking is essential when company is coming; yet,  being consumed and going overboard with things can cause us to miss spending time with our Lord and loved ones.  A simple meal and fairly clean home with sweet fellowship and time for nurturing relationships is better than a feast and fabulous house where frustration reigns over faith.

 How we spend our time will determine how we spend our lives.  We must learn to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when scheduling our days.  Taking time to nurture our hearts (relationships with others), our souls (relationships with God), our minds (both wisdom and knowledge), and our strength (our physical bodies), every day will help us lead a more balanced life - a life that will keep growing stronger in favor with God and others.