rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Waste Your Life

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“You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.”

Time links the world like nothing else. The world runs on a system of time zones, and our watches and phones constantly remind us of it.

The biggest question then is, how will we use our time?

Time Affects Everyone

There are few things in this world that everyone has access to. But time and the choice of whether to follow God are two of them.

Every person on the planet, no matter who they are or where they live, gets 24 hours per day. There’s no way to buy more or exchange it. The funny thing is time isn’t a physical construct. It’s relative to the one keeping track of it. It’s why some days fly by in “five minutes”, and some drag on for “weeks”.

But, as great as the resource known as time is, there’s something we need to realize…

Our Time Is Not Our Own

When we get possessive of our time, it can cause problems. Truth is that time doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. He created the earth and controls everything that goes on in it. God is the true Master of time. As much as we may try to optimize our time and manipulate others’, He remains in control. Everything rests in His hands. Meaning you have to choose who (or what) you are going to serve with your time.

God gave us the great gift of time, but not just for our pleasure. While Jesus told us to enjoy our lives on earth, He also told us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19, ESV).

Jesus gave us a task, a time-consuming one. He asked us to use our time to bring glory to His name and save the lost from an eternity apart from Him.

We Need to Use Our Time for Good

One of the most impactful passages I’ve read on the subject of time can be found in Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV). In these verses, Paul tells us to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Our will here on earth should be the same as God’s will. How do you know if you’re living a life that pleases God? You know when the things you want in life are the same things He wants. Life as a Christian is about aligning ourselves with God.

Spend Your Time Wisely

A favorite song of mine is Don’t Waste Your Life by Christian rapper Lecrae. It talks about how we are to spend our time doing things that encourage, uplift, and strengthen others. How we are to use our lives for God’s glory. Alas, I can cite many examples where I haven’t used my time for His glory.

This is one of the reasons why I personally have chosen to avoid certain types of social media. Sure, these apps can be beneficial, but more often than not, they are a distraction. The devil knows that if everyone is stuck watching cat videos or scrolling endlessly on their phones, they can’t spend time in the Word or serving their community.

This is why I’ve been working to cut down the time I spend watching valueless content. This isn’t to say watching videos on the internet is inherently bad. But everything must be done in moderation. Social media can be used for good. However, it becomes an issue when we obsess over it and allow it to affect our walk with Jesus negatively.

Many other things can waste our time as well, but in this day and age, screens are one of the most hazardous. The next generation (including me) is growing up dependent on phones, tablets, YouTube videos, video games, social media, and shows that usually aren’t edifying.

We have a very limited timeframe here on earth. Is spending years of your life on social media (when you tally it up) the best way to use your time? If you fast forward to when you’re a senior, looking back on your life, will you be happy that you spent up to 20 of your best years staring at your phone? Would you be okay knowing you burned that much time which you could otherwise have spent furthering His Kingdom?

What Will You Do with Your Time?

God gives us 24 hours every day, or 1,440 minutes. When you think about that, it’s both a small and a large amount of time. The tricky part is deciding how you’re going to use it. Will you spend it for the world’s purposes, or God’s? It only takes a little bit of time to make a difference. Spending even one measly minute in prayer each day equals six hours per year. Make it five minutes, and you’re spending thirty hours in prayer each year. On the converse, spending an hour on your phone each day equals three-hundred-sixty-five hours per year.

There are many good things we can spend our time doing. Sports, music, time with friends, reading, hobbies, etc. But even good things, in excess, can become a distraction in our walk with Christ. It’s all too easy to cram as much as possible into our schedules and push out all things Jesus-related. Eternal things must always come before earthly ones.

I’ll be the first to say I’ve fallen victim to the devil’s traps—busyness and phone use, in particular. However, I’ve also kept Paul’s words in mind. I’ve realized that there’s nothing better to do with my time than to spend it glorifying God.

How Will You Reflect God with Your Time?

Imagine this: If you took even thirty of those daily minutes you spend watching random videos and instead spent them in devotions, that’s an extra one-hundred-eighty plus hours with God in a year. Over a week straight! How much better would you get to know your best friend if you spent a week straight with them?

Or if you took that hour a day spent watching TV and instead invested it in serving the community, you’d be spending a whopping three-hundred-sixty-five hours a year spreading Jesus’ light. Or if you cut out that activity you knew was probably consuming too much time, you’d get countless hours with which to exalt Jesus.

We all struggle with the issue of “I don’t have enough time”. But the reality is, we’re just choosing to spend our time poorly. We’re choosing to spend our time doing something other than fulfilling Jesus’ call.

The good news (which I’ve proven to myself), is that you can serve Jesus and still do what you want to do. If you prioritize Jesus and spend your time wisely. This last year was by far my busiest, and yet I also managed to volunteer more than ever before.

Please don’t hear me telling you that you need to stop everything fun that you’re currently doing. But let me tell you from personal experience that this last year was one of my most fulfilling ones. Why? Not because I was busier or spent more time on my phone, but because I spent my time serving and glorifying God. By no means does Jesus want to take away things you enjoy, as He tells us, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10, ESV). But I can truthfully say I’ve found more joy in serving than doing some of the things I thought were “fun”.

So, how will you spend your time? For Jesus’ glory, or your own? Are there things, people, or activities in your life that you need to cut out for the goal of better knowing and exalting Jesus? As Matthew 10:39 (ESV) says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

There are so many “good” things in this world that you can spend your time doing, but if they’re not for Jesus, what’s the purpose? If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post, it’s please don’t waste your life. Don’t be like the guy in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters who, upon arriving in Hell, said, “I now see that my life was spent doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.”

Who will you glorify with your time?


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About the author

Samuel James

is a teen writer who hopes to spread his words about Jesus to the world. He currently focuses his writing efforts on his blog, writinglifefaith, where he makes weekly posts about living for Jesus while tying in popular figures, movies, and events of today. When he’s not working on writing-related things, you can find him making videos, listening to movie soundtracks, lifeguarding, playing sports, serving at church, or doing school.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →