Fred once said he didn’t experience the stresses of time pressure after he realized busyness and accomplishment are not synonymous. He didn’t judge the value of his contribution by his exhaustion level. In fact, he boldly spoke of “doing only what only he could do.” He delegated everything else. The stewardship of time and money were major themes with him.
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Spending or Investing
Most people spend time like they do money. Suddenly they run short and they are looking for ways to compensate. Discipline is the best approach, of course, but most people don’t take that route with either time or money.
I asked a friend, “What’s a living wage for you?” he replied, “A little bit more than I’m making now.” If I gave him that much more, three months later he’d probably say the same thing again because he would raise his standard of living. I have friends who agreed on a lifestyle and decided to give away everything above that. They understood dividend-paying discipline.
People look for “just an hour or two more” to make things work. But if you just fill up any extra time, you will create a new time lifestyle that pushes you farther and farther into the stresses of time pressure.
All we have are given by God. What are we saying when we say, “I don’t have enough money; I don’t have enough time?” One of my greatest moments came when the truth hit me that God could exist without me. Why should I feel all this pressure? What would change about God if I am alive or if I am not? Nothing. I can give up fretting because He didn’t intend for me to live with constant pressure. He has it under control.
Busyness can be an addiction just as strong as alcohol or drugs. We feel compelled to push harder, earn more, and run faster. What is the answer?
A study was done on alcoholic recidivism. “For a long time people couldn’t understand why someone could stay sober for years and then fall back. They knew the devastation of the addiction, but they went back. Then they found out why – those who were only abstainers couldn’t sustain the struggle. Those who found the joy of sobriety seldom fell. Until they made that transition, vulnerability exists.”
If all I have in life is work and more work without the assurance of God’s sovereignty, I may well give up the battle for time and money discipline. If I taste the joy of grace, as Paul did, I will see life as a challenge, not a threat. No one could ever sell Paul again on trying and trying – He came out of law into the joy of grace. When we fight for more time or more money we are losing the battle. When we rest in the joy of investing our time and money, not just spending it we step into the joy of sober living.
This week think about: 1) How do the pressures of time and money wage war in me? 2) Have I moved from works to grace? 3) What can I teach others about investing versus spending?
Words of Wisdom: “If I taste the joy of grace, as Paul did, I will see life as a challenge, not a threat.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NET Bible)______________________
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