I’ve made a life-long study of time and life management. The reason this subject became so interesting to me is because the first 30 years of my life, and early stages of marriage, were characterized by miss-management, lack of direction, and frenzied frustration.
But, believe it or not this preliminary discussion will include nothing about day-planners or to-do lists. Surprised? No. It’s a matter of the heart that I discovered has the greatest impact on the way I prioritized the daily tasks in my life — contentment.
While not always, discontentment guides a lot of the activity and busyness in our lives. We are often working more, spending more, scheduling our kids for more, and pressuring others for more because of an insecurity or feeling of lack in our life. To better assess necessary versus unnecessary activities in our lives then we must look at what is driving our hearts.
The Apostle Paul, tells us in 1 Timothy 6:6 that “godliness with contentment is great gain” and gives us these instructions on contentment from his own life:
“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.” (Philippians 4:11)
Contentment is learned — Paul says he learned to be content! This gives us hope and encouragement. Contentment is not something that comes automatically with salvation. And contentment is not a fruit of the Spirit which we enjoy when we are walking in the Spirit. No, contentment is learned.
Contentment is not based on circumstances, but on the person of Christ — You and I possess all the true riches of heaven, both here on earth, and held in trust for us in heaven to come. In God, precious one, you and I have all that we need both now and forever:
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Contentment is required whether you have little or much — Do you think that having much would cause you to be content? Or do you ever erroneously think, “If I just had a tiny bit more, I’d be content?” Well, the answer is no. In fact, having much can breed a strong desire and lust to have even more. Our desire should be God’s provision of “just enough.”
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: …Give me neither poverty nor riches — but, give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9).
Contentment should guide our actions — “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
These verses tell us where our priorities should lie. They also give us a guide to what our schedules should be full of—His every good work! In our busyness, we should be about the Lords business because we know He will provide for our every need rather than us scrambling to fill our every insecurity and discontent.
Better than the latest day-planner or iPhone app, God’s instruction for the heart is the best time-management advice ever!
Question: When you asses your priorities and desires do you find yourself operating out of contentment or discontent?