In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!
“I am too lazy to do anything right now.” “I don’t have the energy for this.” I am not up for it.” “I will do it later.” “I just don’t want to do anything today.” How many times do we utter such words? How many times do we use these excuses to get out of work, studying, going to church, praying, helping our parents, etc? Is it okay to be lazy? Is it okay to waste time? How should we be spending our time? Last week, I overheard a conversation between two of my church friends that changed my perspective about how Christians should spend their time. Here is a bit of their conversation.
Yoel: You are not using your time as a Christian.
Yoel: You have done nothing but watch TV for four hours straight today.
Mati: So, I am on break.
Yoel: I am not only talking about today. I have seen how you usually spend your time. Plus even on your break, you should use your time productively.
Mati: Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.
Yoel: As Christians, we have to use our time wisely. To waste even a second is a sin. It’s like telling God, “I don’t appreciate the time you have given me so I will waste it.”
Mati: Whoa whoa hold up. You act like I spend my time going to parties or drinking.
Yoel: Time wasted is just that time wasted, it doesn’t matter how you spend it. Any time you spend not glorifying God, that’s time wasted.
Mati: Okay, you are doing too much.
Yoel: As Christians, our job is to be and look like Jesus. When Jesus was on earth He did not waste any time. Jesus led by example. He made sure He lived a Christian life.
Mati: I know but that’s Jesus.
Yoel: Jesus’s life was mimicked by His disciples and other saints from the Bible.
Mati: Okay, so how does a Christian use his/her time?
Yoel: Great question. As Christians, we are to spend our time glorifying God. That might not look the same for everyone. Some glorify God through prayers, some through good deeds, some through their studies and/or job, some by listening to sermons and mezmurs, and others by spending time with their families and spiritual friends having Godly conversations.
Mati: Umm okay so, time not wasted is time spent getting closer to God.
Mati: What’s the opposite then? How should a Christian not spend his/her time?
Yoel: Well, the answer is the same. Whatever you do, if it doesn’t glorify God then that’s an improper use of the precious time God has given you. To be more specific, the time you spend being lazy, gossiping, lying, cheating, drinking, partying, sleeping too much, not doing anything, overeating, watching TV, listening to music, scrolling through social media, reading YouTube comments, taking hundred selfies, etc.
Mati: Wow that’s a lot. I do a lot of what you have mentioned never realizing it was a sin. I oversleep, eat too much, and spend a lot of time not doing anything especially during my break.
Yoel: That’s a lot of us. We waste our precious time not knowing it is a sin. Sometimes we only see the obvious sins. We might not attend parties because we know it is a sin, but staying in and watching others party on TV is no difference. You have sinned by wasting your time and exposing your eyes to unnecessary event.
Mati: Right, I never thought the times I spent being lazy were a sin. Moving forward, I have to be extra cautious to make sure I don’t waste the time God has given me.
Yoel: Same, what we have been talking about is easier said than done. I am in a constant struggle of balancing my time to make sure I don’t use my time unproductively.
Mati: There is something I am unclear about. Earlier you said some glorify God through their studies or jobs. How is that possible?
Yoel: In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 God says, “... If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Work is necessary, so is studying. But we can work and study in a way that glorifies God. Whatever your job is, it involves opportunities for good deeds. By being an example Christian at your workplace you teach your coworkers about Christianity, this is glorifying God. You can even glorify God as you are walking.
Yoel: The point is to be intentional and deliberate in our use of time. If we are physically occupied we can glorify God through our heart and mind. For example, you can repeat, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7) as you walk or when you are at work. Have a short prayer you can say over and over to redirect you to your mission of always glorifying God. Try to memorize a lot of prayers from the Bible and Wedasie Mariam so that at times when you don’t have access to your books you are still able to pray.
Mati: I never thought about that.
Yoel: Our purpose on this earth is to glorify God by being holy like Him and mimicking the life He lived on earth. Whatever [we] do, [we must] do it all for the Glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Glory to God,