Time… The thing everyone wants that none of us are able to produce. Time is possibly the most precious of commodities that we can possess. Time is the great equalizer; it cares not how rich or poor we are nor our social status. We all possess an equal allotment of time on any given day.
If time is so precious, then how we invest it is of utmost importance. When we invest our time in people, we usually don’t see a financial yield, but we can be assured there are greater rewards for our efforts. So that we might better reap these rewards, I offer the following three points:
What does this mean to us?
We can define the redemption of time as using our allotment of time wisely and putting it towards profitable ventures. Monetary rewards are not the measure of profit here.
How many of us can remember the things we have wasted our time on? Thinking back to those times and periods in our lives where we wish we could jump in our time machine and go back if only to warn our past selves that such a venture was a complete waste of our time and effort.
There is good news though – there still exists a grand opportunity to redeem your time.
How can we go about redeeming our time?
It is all well and good to talk about the redemption of time towards good, but when the rubber meets the road we often stumble. We are at a loss, we can’t get ourselves going, motivated or even find the correct starting point. So how do we redeem our time? We start by getting our priorities straight, by looking at our time and allocating it towards things that matter. First, we have to learn what those priorities are:
- Faith, is your first priority,
- Family, is your second priority, and
- Others should be your third priority.
Your system of faith should be your first priority. The world is full of unimportant things that only offer distractions from a divine relationship. When we deny ourselves such a relationship, we are losing out. Jesus was once asked what the most important command was. He responded saying, “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:29-30)
Love is relational. We must know someone before we can love them. The best way to spend time with God is to devote time to thinking of His Word and prayer.
Family is your second priority. When we think of our family we need to include not only our immediate family, but also our extended family. For parents, we need to ensure we care for the precious lives that have been entrusted to our care. If we do not nurture the bonds of family early on we will struggle to make them when they grow older.
Family isn’t only and always just your related family members. Often we find circumstance has brought others into our lives that have deep meaning to us.
It is also a great privilege to be the care-taker of someone, whether a child or another person, and we can be rest assured that you have not wasted your time. “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) Some of the soundest advice anyone could receive.
We redeem our time by spending it bringing quality into the lives of others through simple things like listening, talking and showing concern for them.
Our third priority comes in the form of others. We spend more time at work during our lifetime than we do at home. We should then take the time to acknowledge, and as appropriate, be concerned with the people we interact with on a daily basis.
If we approach people with love in our hearts we approach them with respect and humility. When our businesses and daily interactions become more about the product and success of our efforts than the people we interact with, something great has been lost.
Worry is the enemy of our time. We spend too much time worrying about what we cannot control that we forget what is going on around us now. The uncertainty of the future, when addressed by worry, takes away our ability to effectively redeem our time. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34) Worry is a symptom of a lack of prioritization.
Finally, there is no complicated formula or extensive research that one needs to do to understand how to redeem their time. Nor does it require a vast amount of experience or knowledge. Giving our time to others should be our priority. Cultivating a good habit of concern for the wellbeing of others should be our norm. Those around us are to be appreciated. We can all learn to love each other, and to share in the tears and joys of those around us. All it takes is time.