We live in a culture that thrives on busyness. Whether it’s sports games, dance recitals, parties, meetings, or work projects, we are all subject to full schedules. Everyone feels like they’re busy.
God gives each of us 24 hours in a day. The question is how are we spending that time? God has called each of us to live intentional lives — lives lived on purpose for his glory — but what does intentional living look like?
Colossians 3:23 clearly states that we should do everything to God’s glory rather than for the approval of men. God cares about how we live our lives. If we want to glorify the name of Jesus and to participate in his joy, our lives need to revolve around Him. Our schedules thus submit to God’s priorities. Intentional living is putting God first and letting that permeate the rest of our lives.
A quick personal example. Before becoming the TDC Kids Minister, I worked in corporate sales. It was a competitive, fast-paced, and demanding environment. Work days would be 12+ hours with not much time for small talk. Being intentional was a challenge for me in all sectors of my life: my quiet time, marriage, friendships, and working relationships.
There are a few things I believe God showed me in this season:
1. Never let busyness get in the way of worship. Whether that is quiet time, prayer, or gathering weekly in community, my worshipful relationship with God is my highest priority.
2. I need gospel-centered community (Proverbs 27:17). Iron sharpens iron, and we need one another for encouragement, rebuke, and shared joy in Christ. I found myself hungry for community in my busy sales career.
3. Own your time, or it will own you. Our lives are going to fill up with things to do and this is not necessarily a bad thing, but when we don’t redeem our time for the sake of Christ we are missing the point.
Intentional living is living in light of the gospel and with proper priorities. And you know what — sometimes this means we will have to say no to lower priorities (a daily struggle for me). A question I try to ask myself is this: are you prioritizing the world’s desires or God’s commands? Every situation we encounter from cleaning up spilled cheerios to closing a sale is an opportunity to represent and serve Christ to the world. If we have tasted the generosity of God, we will be compelled to be joyfully generous with others. This means we share our time, as scarce as it may seem on busy days.
Because we cannot create more time, what truly matters is the perspective with which we view our overflowing plates. Demands on our time abound, so we must decide in advance how we will use our time.
Do we see our time as opportunities to share the gospel or opportunities to build our own kingdoms? Which one will you choose?