The key to biblical time management isn’t stressing about the newest app or the organization of your task lists.
It’s all about how you think: how you view success, productivity, and motivation.
And one of the most important concepts to properly understand is failure.
Misconceptions here not only make us unfruitful, but they keep us in a constant state of stress and worry.
Fear of Failure
When we don’t understand failure, we’re improperly afraid of it.
We can be so afraid of failing that we never take any risks. We never attempt anything difficult – and thus, we never attempt anything worthwhile.
We procrastinate on those tough projects. We end up justifying our actions with endless excuses.
All because we don’t want to fail.
Slow to Examine Ourselves
But a worry about failing in the future is just the tip of the iceberg. How we look at our past failures can have dramatic consequences spiritually and practically.
If we hate failing, we’re hesitant to take a good, hard look at ourselves. And particularly in the area of time management, failure is inevitable.
Looking back at my life, I can see countless times when I’ve wasted seconds, minutes, days, and weeks. Even years. In fact, I only have to think about the last hour to come up with a long list of ways that I’ve failed in how I manage my time.
If we don’t understand failure, this guilt can paralyze us. It can drive us into a depression.
Or we may react defensively, convincing ourselves that our poor stewardship of time is no big deal. We compare ourselves to others around us, instead of to the perfect standard of Christ, in order to avoid that nagging sense of failure.
Eventually, we become numb to the whole issue. Rather than look our failure in the face every few hours, we give in and stop caring.
How to Deal with Failure
It’s crucial for us to understand that we will fail. All the time.
We’re sinful human beings and we will choose comfort over dedication, pride over humility, ourselves over God.
I say this not to laugh off sin or to diminish its disgusting nature and effects. But a proper biblical understanding of sin forces us to acknowledge how broken we really are – especially in this area of time management.
Let your failure drive you to the cross.
Christ didn’t just die to purchase forgiveness for your adultery and greed – but for every sin you would ever commit, big and small.
Coupled with this forgiveness is the power that the Spirit gives to us to overcome sin.
There’s no way my flesh will be disciplined enough, wise enough, peaceful enough, humble enough, or strong enough to manage my time perfectly. But the Spirit within us gives us that power.
Understanding your failure allows you to realize your full dependence on his power.
And last, we need to understand that Christ came to redeem our failure – not to beat us over the head and guilt us into a state of depression.
Christ takes our failure, flips it around, and makes it a strength.
With a sovereign God overseeing the universe, even your failures have a purpose. God hates our failures and our sins, but he delights in redeeming them – using those experiences to turn us into the type of people that can bring him the most glory.
Application to All Areas
I imagine I haven’t said anything that was ground-breaking for you. These gospel truths are ones you’ve heard many times before.
But how often have you thought about them as they specifically relate to your time? How often have you beat yourself up over an unproductive day?
It’s not simply just the knowledge of the gospel that matters. It’s applying it to all areas of your life.
How do you need to rethink the way you look at your failures?
Photo Credit: Kelly Bailey (Creative Commons)
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