Episode 11: Time Stewardship: Is this yes for God’s Glory?

Episode 11: Time Stewardship: Is this yes for God’s Glory?

Sept 2, 2020 | Susie Rock

Hey there, welcome to Soul Talk. I’m excited to be here today to talk about time stewardship and discussing the question, “Is this ‘Yes’ for God’s glory?” You see, I have had to wrestle with this question myself; I know what it’s like to live the crazy life.

I grew up in a home with a family that is full of stewards. My parents are the kind of people that will do anything for you; they will overextend themselves to help their children, and to help people in the church. They just love to serve; that’s who they are. Along with that, I had the privilege of going to church and getting to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour at a young age. But what was missing was my understanding of my identity, my worth in Christ, and so I became a doer. Not only that, I’m married to a pastor, I also love serving in the church; there’s endless opportunities. I also have five children. These five children were born to me within six and a half years, so you do the math. They came very close together. So, I know what it’s like to have sleepless nights and full days. Many times, I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I was trying to do, do, do. I was trying to gain approval from those who were watching me; I had a standard to meet. I know what it’s like to live the crazy life. I wasn’t always in the best place for myself, for my husband, or for my children. I was trying to do too much because I wanted them to approve of me. But that did not lead to a place of calm and rest. So, I’ve had to learn to ask the question, “Is this ‘yes’ for God’s glory?” I’ve had to learn to say no. It’s okay to say no. Just because there’s a need doesn’t mean that I personally have been called to fill it, even if I care about that situation.

Today we’re going to talk about this. The life question that so many of us have is, “How can I manage my time so that I’m not wasting it with nothingness, but at the same time, not overwhelming myself with busyness. You see, if we’re not satisfied in life, we will have a craving. We’re going to strive to meet that need one way or another, and that often causes a busy life, because we’re just busy doing this, doing that, trying to meet that need in our lives. For the purpose of this talk, I just want to clarify that when I use the word “busy,” I’m using it in the sense of it causing imbalance in your life. This imbalance causes stress and feelings of overwhelmingness, and just the feeling that I don’t have enough time in my life to accomplish everything that I need to do. That is not a good busy. At the same time, I do want to affirm that God has called us to be stewards, and stewards are hard-working people. Hard work is honouring to the Lord. But that’s different than being busy. “Busy” is more of a heart condition. So, the next time that you commit to something, please ask yourself, “Is this ‘yes’ for God’s glory?”

The central idea of this talk comes from Proverbs 13:4 which says, The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. You see, a lazy person- a sluggard- they want lots of things, but they’re not getting what they want. They’re craving for more and more and more, while the person who is diligent- someone who’s thoughtful, who’s hard-working, who is intentional with their time- they actually are richly supplied, meaning they’re satisfied. They don’t have those cravings. Their cravings are met. So, I just want to remind us that the central point is that the cravings of our soul will be satisfied if we steward our time for God’s glory. A steward is someone who neither wastes her time with nothingness, nor overwhelms herself with busyness.

I want to share with you five things that I’ve learned about being a steward, so that I can steward my time for God’s glory:

  1. A steward knows and worships her God. You see, I have to know that God is holy, awesome, powerful, and loving. I have to know that He is my Saviour, and that He is worthy of my worship and obedience. A0s I understand this, I will submit myself to His ways and fulfill the duties that He’s called me to, not just selfishly seeking to meet some internal craving within my heart. Isaiah 6:3 is one of my favourite passages of scripture because it reminds me of the greatness of our God, and it helps take my eyes off self and onto him, and I’m overwhelmed. It says, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory. That’s overwhelming to me, and that helps me to be in awe of Him once again, rather than just being consumed with trying to meet some internal need.
  2. A steward knows her identity. She knows that her worth does not come from her performance or approval from other people, but her worth comes from the Lord. She has a right view of herself: it’s not an inflated view, but it’s also not a deflated view. It’s a view that she is humble before the Lord, knowing that she is worthy because Christ has made her worthy. I know because I’ve been there. Christians do tend many times to find their worth in something other than Christ. It’s because we’ve taken our eyes off of our identity that comes only from Him, and this can feel make us feel very empty. I read a quote that says, “Feeling the need to be busy all the time is a trauma response in fear-based distraction from what you’d be forced to acknowledge and feel if you slowed down.” Are you busy because you’re trying to avoid the truth? You’re not wanting to face the facts, and so you’re running. What are you running from? I had to ask myself that in order to find a place where I could steward my time for God’s glory. I was a people-pleaser, and I needed to overcome that and become a God-pleaser. Maybe that’s not you, but are you fearing criticism? Are you needing approval? What are you really trying to meet by being so busy? We always have to come back to the fact that our identity is not in what we do, but it’s in Jesus Christ.
  3. As a steward, I also have to accept my womanhood. I am created differently than men. I shouldn’t try to compete with men, or try to compare myself to men. I’m different, I’m unique, and that’s a good thing. God has created me to be a helper. He’s created me to be a life-giver, and I’m absolutely still created to be strong and industrious. I’m created to be a woman who fears the Lord. God has given me great intellect. No way should we ever allow ourselves to be manipulated and told, “But you’re just a woman. You don’t have the same intelligence as men, you don’t have the same capacity to fear the Lord or to be worthy of the Lord.” No, that has no place. We are equally worthy, but we’re different, and that’s okay. Don’t try to be somebody that you aren’t.
  4. Stewards repent of their sin. Many times, we walk around exhausted because we’re actually carrying a burden of guilt. Guilt is heavy, and it will exhaust us. We need to recognize that sin has affected every part of our lives: our beauty, our worth, our purpose. We can’t fix that; only Jesus can. The right response is not to try and earn our goodness or our approval, but to rest in the fact that the blood of Jesus Christ has already accomplished that. That lifts an incredible weight. We need to strive to understand what is really driving this need to be so busy, and then we need to repent of that. Many times, we’re trying to be too busy because there’s some sort of an idol in our life, something that we worship more than we worship God. We believe that if we can just get that, we’ll be satisfied. But it’s always going to disappoint us. Matthew 11:28 says, Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Repent, confess your sins, and He will make you clean as we find in 1 John 1:9.
  5. Stewards align their purpose and their priorities. We have to ask ourselves, “Does my purpose align with God’s?” God’s purpose is always to bring glory to Himself. Is that my purpose? Do I really seek to give God glory and bring Him glory every day and in everything that I do? I have to confess that many times it doesn’t. It’s to bring glory to myself and I have to confess that, and realign it to bring glory to God. And then secondly, “Are my priorities aligning with God’s priorities or is it more important for me to earn money, to earn status, to get some sort of recognition. Is my priority self-protection?” All these things take us away from focusing on what God has prioritized for our life. We need to realign those. I like to think of the phrase, “Purpose before productivity.” Yes, we want to be productive, but only if it’s rooted in being purposeful for Jesus Christ. Another quote I’ve heard is, “If you don’t have time for things that matter, stop doing the things that don’t.” You see, so many times we actually fill our time with so much stuff that isn’t really that important, and then we wonder, “Why don’t I have time to spend time with my kids? Why don’t I have time to spend in God’s word? Why don’t I have time to pray? Why don’t I have time to serve the Lord at church?” It’s because it’s filled with so much other stuff that I don’t actually have time for the things that really matter. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t.

I’ve made up a little acrostic using the word, “Mission.” This acrostic is filled with some practical tips that you can use to help eliminate “busy” from your life, so that you can stay on mission for God’s glory:

M: Make a clear distinction between work, home, and ministry. That means to be present in the moment when you’re at home. Be present with your family, with your children, and with what you need to accomplish, instead of being distracted by either ministry or work. I know there has to be some overlap, but as much as possible, be present with what you’re doing at that moment.

I: Identify your life in Christ. I’ve already talked about that a lot. Our identity is in Christ. We can never find it in what we accomplish.

S: Seek to understand the root of your need to be busy or lazy, then destroy that idol. Whatever it is, destroy it and replace it with worship for God.

S: Set aside daily time with the Lord to pray, to study, to confess, to enjoy His presence, and to worship Him. We need that. That’s a priority.

I: It’s okay to have fun! Sometimes we just need to lighten up and have a good time, have a good laugh, and it’s okay to do that. We have to permit ourselves to have fun.

O: Only use the word “busy” if you’re using it to confess your sin or to genuinely ask for help. Otherwise, eliminate that word from your vocabulary. I actually did that in 2019, and it made a big difference. I made a deliberate attempt not to use the word “busy” and it made a difference. I didn’t feel that busy stress.

N: Nurture life-giving relationships. They will fill you and encourage you. Then, make sure your priorities are aligned with God’s.

So, overall, I just want to encourage you that you have been called to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. So, have an amazing week, and don’t be a crazy person. Let your yes be for God’s glory.

Reflection Questions:

You have watched the video on Time Management:  Is this yes for God’s Glory?

1. If you are fully honest with yourself, would you say, your life is chaos or orderly, in this current season?
2. Is there a specific decision you need to make right now?  How does asking the question, “Is this yes for God’s glory?” help guide you?  If you are still unsure, pray, and talk to a few Christian friends for their outside perspective.
3. Is there a weight of guilt in your life, that is causing you to carry an unnecessary weight in your life?  Confess it, and believe that you are cleansed. (1 John 1:9).  If necessary, talk to a mature Christian friend.
4. Do you have peace and order in your heart? If yes, worship the Lord and continue to keep your eyes on Him!  If no, redirect your heart to worship and trust in the Lord.

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