We’re surrounded by many good things – wonderful gifts that God has given us.
Everything from pleasures to beauty to tools to concepts, enabling us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing and honoring to Christ.
But we can sometimes get our perspectives off kilter. We begin to trust in the gifts, not the giver. We allow the gifts to make promises to us, and we fall for them hook, line, and sinker.
It happens all around us today – it may be happening in your heart now. And it happened in biblical times, too. Take for instance, the warnings in the book of Hebrews.
Not Strengthened by Food, but by Grace
Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
Apparently, there was some odd doctrine about the power of food being spread. Although we don’t know what the teaching was, the specifics don’t really matter.
Food had taken too prominent a place in the lives of some. John Piper makes some keen insights about this passage:
“There are today many religious and secular food routines. Religious food routines like fasting and sacramentalism and vegetarianism and various kinds of abstinence. And there are the secular routines of food supplements and vitamins and antioxidants and organic diets, and fat-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, chemical-free foods. And sometimes, not all the time, these things become obsessive. They take on a life-consuming importance. Slowly and subtly the promises they make for our well-being become the promises we hope in and the promises we live by.” (Emphasis mine)
When we look at food the wrong way, we allow it to make promises to us – promises that it will give us strength. This decreases our dependence on God, slowly turning food into an idol.
Instead, it is good for us to be strengthened by grace. Reject the promises made by anything else except the God who never changes and will never break his promises.
Strengthened by Time Management?
What are the promises that you hope in – the promises you live by?
What hope do we place in time management?
Where do we allow time management to creep in and slowly push out our hope in Christ?
Do we believe the promise that scheduling and prioritization and productivity systems will enable us to live a fulfilled life?
With our modern, hurried lives, do we believe the promise that better time management will be the secret to finally finding peace and relaxation?
Do we believe the promise that productivity and achievement allow us to earn an income and to provide for our needs – instead of trusting in God’s provision?
Here’s one to chew on: Do you believe the promise that being productive so that we can study the word, serve at church, and love our families is the way to keep God from being disappointed at us? Are we trying to legalistically earn God’s love through balancing our time in just the right way?
Fighting the Drift
Most of the times, these promises aren’t really even things we consciously believe. It’s not a deliberate choice.
It’s a slow drift from hoping in Christ to putting a portion of our trust in some other promises.
So take some time to examine the false promises that have crept into your life. Take some time to think about where you truly place your hope and trust.
What are some other false promises that time management makes?
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