It’s crucial that we stare at our time stewardship shortcomings and call them what they are: sins. But recognizing and naming our sin is only half the battle. Now we seek to put our sins to death (Romans 8:13).
Desiring God’s website has uploaded a recent seminar from John Piper. In it, he shares some insight he gained as he took a good, hard look at his own sin. He speaks on the importance of acting in the power of the Spirit to defeat our sin – not passively sitting back and expecting the Spirit to spontaneously eliminate each and every sin from our hearts and lives.
Piper’s insight was this: the same method he has successfully used to battle sexual lust is the very same method that could be used to battle other sins. Selfishness, pride, envy, greed, even the idolatry of poor time stewardship – all need to be battled. And all can be battled with Piper’s six-step ANTHEM method.
Let’s examine these six steps, specifically highlighting how they could be applied to battling procrastination, laziness, workaholism, or any other area of sin in our time stewardship.
It’s impossible to completely avoid every inclination to sins related to time management. But we can know when to be on guard.
The good news is that some situations and temptations can be avoided. For instance: Nip distractions in the bud by using a program like Freedom to temporarily shut down your internet connection.
2. Say “NO!” within five seconds.
Be aware of yourself and when you are beginning to sin with your time usage. Do not go with the flow, do not pursue convenience, do not make quick decisions. Really take an honest look at the spiritual implications of how you’re about to use your time.
Then when temptation pounces on you, realize the fight is on. Let battle commence!
3. TURN to something magnificent, like Christ crucified.
Here, switch from defense to offense. Use the sword of the Spirit, God’s word. Piper says to “attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ.” For instance: “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” (Proverbs 18:9). Or we could encourage ourselves in “redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:16).
We then turn our affections from the temporary pleasures of sin to the overwhelming beauty of Christ.
4. HOLD the pure thing in the mind until the dirty thing is gone.
Keep that thought in your brain until the temptation to sin fades. It may be seconds. It may be hours. But keep fighting!
5. ENJOY the greater pleasure of the blood-bought promises of God.
Go out of your way to cultivate a love for Christ. Piper exhorts: “Plead with God for the satisfaction you don’t have” The more you know Christ, the more beautiful He is – and the more you want to obey.
6. MOVE on to meaningful Christ-exalting activity.
Rather than freeze in inactivity, get going. Perform these six steps on the move. Work hard to break sin’s momentum and then to keep the momentum of obedience.
I would encourage you to check out the video of the seminar. Let’s apply this to every area of our lives!
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. However, this doesn’t affect what I write about, what I choose to say, or what I recommend. Learn more here.