3 Keys to Becoming More Productive with the Time God has Given Us
If you’re anything like me, it’s so easy to get weighed down by distractions and lose sight of what needs to be done. Productivity is important at school, in the workplace, in the home, etc. but it’s even more crucial in our relationship with Christ. Every second He has given us is time that we can spend making a difference for Him. Jesus spent the three and a half years of His ministry constantly reaching out to people, healing the sick, and telling everyone around Him about God and His kingdom.
When we let the unimportant things consume our time, it’s harder to make a spiritual impact in the world. Honestly, I tend to much time on things that don’t matter in the long run (Internet, TV, games, etc.) and not enough time reading the Bible.
Recently, I stepped up to lead a through-the-Bible class at my church which has pushed me deeper into God’s Word. I’ve realized that only by spending time daily with God does life have meaning and purpose. When I don’t take the time to grow spiritually and focus on serving others, I’ve found that my life becomes more monotonous and unproductive. But by following these three steps, we can all become better stewards of the time God has given us and become more productive in advancing God’s kingdom.
1. Learn from the past, but don’t live in your regrets.
There is much to learn from the past. In the Bible, we see the Israelites’ decisions and the consequences for their actions. In history, we learn of the successes and failures of our ancestors. Looking back, we can see what worked and didn’t work and apply that to our own lives.
We each have our own past and our share of achievements and regrets. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to let mistakes define us. I tend to think, “If I failed once, I’ll probably fail again, so what’s the use in trying?” Although we may have regrets about our past, in Christ we are forgiven and given second chances. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Dwelling in regret can’t change the past and it handicaps us in the here and now. When we surrender those feelings of regret to Jesus, we are better able to serve Him.
2. Dream for the future, but don’t let that detour you from the present.
I’m at that stage in life where the future is constantly on my mind. Maybe you are too. Thoughts of graduation, entering college, and one day finding a man to marry dwell with me all the time. Maybe you find yourself thinking about career ambitions, family life, future goals, etc.
Thinking about the future isn’t necessarily wrong, but tomorrow is never promised. I love what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 (NLT), “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” When we become distracted by future plans, we miss out on what God has for us right now. Since we have full confidence that the future is in God’s hands, we can spend more time seeing what God would have us to do now.
3. Take advantage of the opportunities God has given you right here and now.
Sure, you may not be able to serve God in some areas until He opens doors for you, but what doors are already open? You may not be in Africa as a missionary yet, but there are plenty of lives right in your home country that desire to know the truths of the gospel. You may not have enough funds yet to support your goals, but what can you do with the money God has given you now? You may not have enough experience for your desired position, but what knowledge and skills have you gained at your current level?
God has us right where He has us for a reason. Even when we struggle to see beyond our past or get frustrated when we can’t see the future, God will give us the strength to get through today. Today is when salvation happens, today is when Jesus wants us to serve Him. The best way to be spiritually productive is to serve God right where we’re at today.
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