Life is largely about management. Each month, we recognize that when the bills come due. We can readily see how we have mismanaged or managed our money. But there is more to life than money and more to manage than our budgets each month.
How well do we manage our time? Books have been written, tapes been recorded and lectures presented to teach people how to manage their time. I have read the books, listened to the tapes and heard the lectures, but soon the information is forgotten. Day planners, electronic and in print, are sold by the millions to help people better organize their lives so that they can better organize their time. I have both and they remind me, often, how I need to better use my time. Experience in life seems to me to be the best teacher. Just miss a few deadlines, or come right up against a deadline, and we soon figure a better way of doing things. Just let one of our children tell us they need more time with us and time management becomes important. When our mate tells us he/she needs more of our time, where do we find the time?
All of us have 24 hours in a day. Many of the things that fill those 24 hours are not wrong in and of themselves, but sadly often crowd out life with God. He does not shout or cry, audibly, like a past due project, a child or mate. But, He does shout for us to give Him our time. We must find time to meditate on the Greatness of God. We must find time to read God’s word. He wants to talk to us. We must find time to pray. He wants us to talk to Him. Time management succeeds when God manages our time. All else falls in line.
How well do we manage our habits? Of course, none of us would dare admit that our habits control us. Bad habits are hard to break but there is real joy in doing so. However, just breaking bad habits is not enough. They must be replaced with good habits or the bad ones will come again, just in new garb. Habits come so easily. They develop over a period of time. May I suggest a few good habits to work on?
First, make regular bible study a daily habit. I like the Bible verse of the day that pops up each morning. It gets the day started off right.
Second, clean thinking is a good habit. Solomon said, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.”
Third, clean speech is another good habit. Bad language is all around us. So it is easy to fall into the habit of talking like the world when we are around bad language all day every day.
Fourth, one significant way to find reinforcement of the new habits is regularly assembling with saints who encourage one another. Our assembling is intended to stir us and provoke to love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25). They ought to be periods that are refreshing as cool spring water on a hot day.
Management is all about priorities. Management is all about what we consider to be important. Management does not fail because the evil gets in the way but because the urgent gets in the way of the important. We live from grass fire to grass fire, crisis to crisis. Life cannot be lived successfully in that way.
Consider these three things to help arrange our priorities:
- First, let us properly align our priorities. Priorities must be set rationally not emotionally. Emotion should provide the drive but never the direction. Setting priorities out of emotion is certain failure.
- Second, let us set our priorities prior to the test or use. If we set them when the test comes, again, we will decide wrong. It is the rare occasion that one reaches the right decision in a moment.
- Third, let us set our priorities without regard to the consequences. We must decide what is right without regard to the cost. That is hard. Peter failed because he considered the consequences. He said that he would never deny the Lord but when the consequence of that confession became too much he denied Him.
Management of life or priorities tell on us. They always tell the truth. The Lord hears what we say through them. So do others. Do we?
by Rickie Jenkins