Going Out of Your Way to Avoid Wasting Time

going out of your way to avoid wasting time

Occasionally, people will ask what scripture verses apply to the way we manage our time. With a narrow focus on strictly just time management, it seems like there aren’t many explicit references.

But it’s a humbling, challenging, and yet empowering truth to realize that misusing our time is a sin. It’s empowering because then all of the general promises and instructions on sin in scripture are applicable to our time.

Here’s one that hit me between the eyes as I was reading through Proverbs the other day.

Avoiding the Adulteress

Referring to a forbidden woman, Proverbs says:

Proverbs 5:8
Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house.

Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary:

Remove thy way far from her; if thy way should happen to lie near her, and thou shouldst have a fair pretence of being led by business within the reach of her charms, yet change thy way, and alter the course of it, rather than expose thyself to danger; come not nigh the door of her house; go on the other side of the street, nay, go through some other street, though it be about.

Avoid Even the Door

We’re instructed by this verse to go out of our way – literally – to avoid sin. Even if that means we go a longer or more inconvenient route.

It’d be easy to think: “Sure, there are lots of proverbs against prostitutes and adulteresses. And you remember them. So surely you’re strong enough to pass by the door of a forbidden woman. There’s no need to be silly and extreme and walk on a different street. It’s not like you’re going in to her house.”

Yet, sin is taken seriously. How quickly we fall is taken seriously. Even getting close to temptation is taken seriously.

And it got me thinking about how vigilant I am with avoiding situations where I waste time.

Being Radical

Will I avoid certain websites if I’m inclined to browse around more than I intend?

Do I pay attention to what activities I do when I’m procrastinating – and then act accordingly?

Am I as extreme about limiting caffeine if it disturbs my sleeping schedule?

Do I put a concerted effort into evaluating what makes me productive and unproductive?

In short: Do I take this as seriously as Proverbs indicates I should?

Photo Credit: mrhayata (Creative Commons)

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