Use Your Time

How do you use your time?  We’re in the second week of our stewardship program.  Last week we took time to see ourselves in God’s grace.  It doesn’t really matter what we have done in life.  God’s grace is greater than our sin.  As redeemed children of God we live for Jesus.  We look for ways to serve him.  So the question is fitting.  How do you use your time?  There are many resources that can help you with the technical details of time management.  What I would like to focus on are the spiritual pitfalls of time management.  There are three in particular – Jealousy, Pride, and Despair.

If you’ve ever seen a baby crawl across a room, it’s a cute sight.  The small child looks up for an approving glance from a parent and responds positively to that reinforcement.  It’s not as cute when the five-year-old sibling who is perfectly capable of running on his two feet drops to his hands and knees to crawl across the floor.  The only reason the five-year-old does so is because he craves the positive look from the parent.  That jealousy is dangerous.  We look at it in our lesson from the gospel of Mark and in our sermon text.  The disciples didn’t appreciate others doing miracles in Jesus’ name!  Why?  Joshua didn’t appreciate elders prophesying in the Spirit who didn’t come to the Tent of Meeting with everyone else.  Jesus and Moses stop the jealousy in its tracks.  Moses asks one question – “Are you jealous for my sake?”  He doesn’t ask the next one that I will ask right now.  “Are you jealous for your sake?”

That jealousy has no place in the Christian walk.  When you use your time with a jealous eye, you don’t live for Jesus.  You are living for yourself – and – in a perverse way, you are living just to keep up with the person next to you.  Does that five-year-old need to drop to his knees and crawl like a baby?  Of course not!  He can use all of his little kid abilities to the glory of God.  So also in God’s kingdom, what do we accomplish when we spend out time looking at our neighbor’s gifts wishing we could do what he could do?  Rather, use your time and your talents to the glory of God.  God doesn’t ask you to be someone else.  He’s gifted you with the talents he needs you to have.

Want to hear more about pride and jealousy?  Watch this Sunday’s sermon taken from Numbers 11.