You might not think that time management has much to do with Christianity, but it does! God has provided us with our time on Earth. That is a blessing. Hopefully the Scripture provided in this section will help you understand how to use your time wisely!
What is the purpose of our time?
As counterintuitive as it seems to overachieving Penn students, the primary purpose of our time is not to receive the best grades. It is not to be part of the most extracurricular activities. It is not to apply for the best internships. The primary purpose of our time is to serve the Lord! To be more specific, we should be spending our time sharing the Word of God so that more people will become his disciples.
Go there and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
– Matthew 28:19 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:17 ESV
This does not mean that you should not spend time on academics and activities at Penn. God has given each of us our talents for a reason. However, He did not give us our talents so that we can boast about ourselves. He wants us to use our talents to draw others closer to Him.
Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.
– 1 Peter 4:10 CEV
Is procrastination biblical?
Many students claim that there is nothing wrong with procrastination. Some even claim that they are able to produce their best work when the wait until the last minute. However, I do not believe that procrastination is a good habit. The Bible teaches us that we should work sooner rather than later because we do not know what our future holds.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
– James 4:13 ESV
The Bible teaches us to work hard and work diligently. This is not possible when we wait until the last minute. God did not plan for us to spend eighty percent of our free time binge watching Netflix (though I personally know how tempting that is). Think about the creation story in Genesis as an example. God spent the first six days creating the world. He only rested on the seventh day. The Lord hopes that we can have a similar work ethic.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
– Proverbs 13:4 ESV
Is it possible to spend too much time working?
While we should not procrastinate, it is definitely possible to work too much. God does want us to enjoy our lives and have fun. The Bible teaches us that we should set aside some time to rejuvenate.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
– Exodus 20:8-10 ESV
It is easy to become too busy at Penn. I would recommend that you chose your activities and classes wisely, so that you do get to enjoy a break every once in a while. God does not want us to spend all of our days stressed and anxious!
How can I make time for the Lord?
This can be very difficult at Penn. God makes it clear that we need to devote time to Him. May I plead with you not to drop out of attending church, quit reading Scripture on your own, or cease praying? It can be challenging, but it is completely worth the effort it takes. While you may fail, there is always the next semester to get back up and try again. Here are some Scriptures to support why each of these three aspects of a Christian’s walk ought to not be neglected.
1.) Church Body — Believers need each other in order to live in this world as followers of Christ!
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB
2.) Scripture — God’s Word will give you encouragement and strength. It will help you to grow and be holy. Value it. Read it.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:32 NASB
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
– 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
A good tip is to find a specific time each day that you can complete a personal devotion. Make it a habit! It is also a good idea to study the Bible with friends and family. If you involve others in your spiritual journey, they will help keep you accountable. This is why joining a group such as Grace Bible Study is important. Other believers can help keep you on track.
3.) Prayer — The Bible tells us to pray and demonstrates prayer (through Jesus primarily) multiple times. It reminds us that we have the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray and who intercedes for us to God.
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 NASB
Realize that our time is limited.
I know that this is a sad thought, but our days are numbered. So many people live as if they have all the time in the world. Unfortunately, we do not. Once we remember that our time on Earth is limited, we will be more likely to make that time count. Don’t waste your time!
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
– Psalm 90:12 NASB
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.
– Ephesians 5:15-17 NASB
Note from Charis
NOTE from Charis: The study of scripture is important! I remember my first semester at Penn I was faced with a lot of information and new perspectives. I needed to be in scripture seeking guidance from the Lord and I needed to be involved at church in order to ask questions. These two things were what kept me grounded. When I had questions about social issues like gay marriage or when I struggled with apathy because I was overwhelmed and far too busy, I was able to learn the truth from God’s Word and find encouragement. I honestly did really struggle with all kinds of questions and my schedule and low self esteem, but I was able to firm up my identity in Christ and my understanding of what God has to say about all of those things.