The Value of Time


When we think of all that we possess, such as our homes, cars, clothes, various electronics, lawn equipment, etc., none of it is anywhere near as important as our time. And none of it is anywhere near as valuable.

Some of us own bigger homes than others, newer cars than others, and more clothes than others. But we’ve all been given exactly the same amount of time. Each of us have 24 hours in a day. That translates into 1440 minutes. How are we using those minutes?

Think about it in these terms. If we were given $1440 at the beginning of each day to spend in any way we wanted, what would we do? What if we were told that we couldn’t save it - that it had to be used up or we would lose whatever we didn’t use? If we knew that whatever we didn’t invest in good purpose would be lost forever with no going back, we would make sure to find a way to spend that money. We’d invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! We’d find others that we could help with the money rather than letting it go to waste.

Unfortunately, we don’t do the same thing with the 1440 minutes we’ve been given each day, which is more valuable than $1440/day. Too often, we let minutes and even hours just waste away and not invest them in anything with purpose. Oh, we spend the time, but just not in the wisest and most profitable of ways.

Think about some of the ways we spend our time, and try to prioritize these to see which are more important than others. Obviously, we need sleep. Go ahead and mark off 480 minutes if you’re lucky enough to get 8 hours of sleep. We also need to eat. If we allow 30 minutes for each meal, that’s another 90 minutes. Assuming you work outside the home, you’re probably working about 8 hours a day. That’s another 480 minutes. Throw in a 30 minute commute to and from work for a total of 60 minutes. We’re down to 330 minutes. Not much left. How we spend these remaining minutes will have a great impact on how good of a steward we are of the time God has given us.

Many people will spend their remaining time with entertainment, such as TV. Time spent watching TV can easily eat up 60-120 minutes each evening. Most of us have computers and spend time surfing the internet or on Facebook or on reading/sending emails. If you spend 60 minutes each evening in computer related activity, you’re down to 150 minutes.

Some of you are in school, so time will be spent studying and doing homework. Parents with kids in school will inevitably spend time helping them with their schoolwork. If your children are involved in extracurricular activities such as scouts, band, or sports, those take time too. Maybe you get together with some friends on a Friday or Saturday night. As you can see, our few remaining minutes at the end of the day are quickly erased by the various activities we find ourselves involved in, and it’s time for bed again.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of those ways that we are spending the 1440 minutes we’ve been given, but not all of them are as profitable as others. Also, every one of those time-spending activities can be abused.

We can be lazy and sleep too much, leaving little time for more important endeavors. “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.” (Prov. 24:33-34)

We can spend too much time at work and shirk our first priority - the family. If the reason we give is money related, we’re not trusting in the Lord. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33)

Rest and relaxation and entertainment are good and necessary from time to time, but are we filling our minds with worldliness, sin, and filth of every kind? Even if what we’re viewing is “clean”, we should still ask the question, “Is my time better spent doing something else?”

Have we made the time to read our Bibles for the day? Have we done more than read - have we studied and meditated on his word? “I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.” (Ps. 119:147-148) Have we prepared for the upcoming Sunday or Wednesday Bible class? Have we spent time sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus with a friend? Have we talked to God? More than just the quick prayer before our meals?

Each of us needs to examine how we spend our 1440 minutes each day. I believe we all can probably do a better job of prioritizing our time. Too much of it is spent on things that don’t really matter. And too much of it is spent on things that actually hinder our faith and growth as a Christian. Let’s make sure we’re not majoring in the minors but rather putting the first things first. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16)