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Wasting Time (1 Timothy 1:3,4)

When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.

I wonder if you’ve ever been tempted to keep a written record of how you use your time in any given week. If you were to take out “necessities” such as school, work, sleeping and eating how would you use the remainder of your time?

I doubt it’s been easier to “waste time” than it is today. Most of us carry on our person devices crammed with apps that can so easily eat up spare time.

Let me say it’s no sin to relax and unwind, but if you were to pull out your phone now and scan your most used apps, how many could you label as “time wasters”?

Paul’s concern for Timothy in these verses was that he was at risk of wasting his time in “endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees.” These myths and genealogies were common topics for discussion in the ancient world and Paul was concerned that Timothy would lose sight of what was really important and waste his time in worthless pursuits.

While few of us are at risk of an obsession with myths and spiritual pedigrees, the threat of time wasting is just as real.

One way to deal with this it to delete those apps or avoids those disputes that waste time, but what tends to happen is that we create a vacuum that soon gets filled with other time wasters.

If you are serious about being used by God a far more productive strategy is to regularly invest your time in pursuits that are truly productive.

On leaving university, I used to ride the train to work and back every day. It was about a 15 minute journey. What amazed me was the amount of reading I got through. Thirty minutes a day became two and a half hours a week which translated to over 100 hours per year, which equates to about 20 books!

If one of those books is super long – like the Bible for instance(!), you could easily read the whole thing and still have time for more books.

OK, so you’re not a reader? Try listening to podcasts, memorising Scripture, praying – whatever the pursuit the point I’m making is that even small amounts of regular time all add up.

Talk to anyone who’s gone on to accomplish significant things for God and you’ll note they have one thing in common: they’ve learnt to invest time wisely.

Reflection

Pray and decide before God how much time you’ll commit each day to invest in your spiritual and leadership development. Start small and be realistic. Commit the amount of time you want to commit – not the amount you feel you should. Decide how you’ll use this time and notice how the time starts to accumulate and the impact eventually shows in your life.