Monday, October 03, 2005

Have you ever heard the saying...? (Part 2)

I'd like to alter the saying mentioned in Part 1 to be the following: "You can tell someone's heart or devotion to God by examining one simple thing...their day-planner."

Now, I understand that most of us don't keep a day-planner for our day to day activities, but what if we did? Now, I'm not thinking of a day-planner where you pencil in what you need to or intend to do, but one that is retro-active in its entries. If there were a report like this that would show me exactly what I was doing for my day on a 15 minute increment as well as an overall summary of time, what would it look like? Now, obviously, there is no such report that can be generated automatically that we can look at, but what if you or I were to sit down for a few minutes and sketch one out? It'd actually be pretty easy since most of our lives have a great deal of consistency on a day to day basis.

For instance, I work the same time (relatively) each day for the same amount of time during the week. I'm in the car (mostly to and from work) for a similar amount of time each day. And so on and so on. So, once you build a "normal" day, it's easy enough to edit it for any given day.

Q: What's the point here?
A: The point or intention of this exercise is to get an idea of how much of my time do I spend solely devoted to God as opposed to how much time do I spend on "relaxing" or time solely spent on me.

I am looking at this with the same critical eye that I was examining the "giving" issue that I have previously raised. Here's an example:

Many of my Christian friends love our local football team. The Vikings play for about 3 or 4 hours each week during their season. Most fans (Christians and non-Christians alike) are riveted to the TV or radio for that time, and make an event of it. We'll clear our schedule, get food, set up the TV/Family room, dress for the occasion (hat, jersey, etc) - all of this prior to the 3 hours of entertainment - just to watch a football game. But it doesn't stop there, following the game (for days on end) there is the discussion of the game results and the prognostication of the rest of the season, play-off hopes, etc., etc.

How does my dedicated - not gonna compromise this time except in the case of an emergency - time for my football team stack up against time that I devote wholly to my love for and walk with Christ?

My thrust is not to say that every Christian needs to have the same "cookie-cutter" type of quiet time formula, but I think that if I (we, you, or whomever) don't have some sort of designated, set apart, special, intense, devoted time for my walk with God - and yet I have it for my own personal time - I need to do some serious reevaluating of where my true treasure and love resides. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, it should. We (Christians) are warned over and over about what we do and how we act and to be aware that these things will be judged. 1 Corinthians 3:14,15 speaks to how a Christian's works will be judged by God in the end. I think that a good understanding of this passage revolves primarily around the gospel that we preach and we need to make sure that it conforms to the true gospel (there is no other gospel - see Galatians 1:6-10 for Paul's super clear admonishment about this). But, our way of life, and what we show as valuable (with our time and money) reflect the worth that we attribute to the gospel and ultimately to Christ Himself.

Wrap up:
1 Peter 2:2 says that new Christians should desire the pure milk of the Word. This (I understand) means that a new Christian desire and need the plain and simple truths of the gospel just like a baby desires mamma's milk. And parents - you and I both know that babies are never circumspect about their need for food. Psalms 119:9-16speaks for an older believer in God and the scope of his desire for God's truth. When Paul tells Timothy that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, Paul also instructs him to flee from these things and puruse righteousness, among other things (1 Timothy 6:10-12). Also, we can get an idea of how important it is to make a point of special, devoted time to God by seeing Christ as the example. One of my favorites is Mark 1:32-37 (specifically verse 35) where we see that Jesus got up early after a long night of working to make special time for God.

For His glory, let us examine ourselves in all areas.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Whether one speaks of time or money we are to be stewards of what God gives us. We are not promised more time - I could die today. We are not promised more $$ - I could lose my job or my abilities today. In the end we will give an account for what we did with our resources. How will you account for what God has given you?

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