Does the Bible say anything about time management?

Most people think of time management as applied to their day: How do I organize my day to succeed at what is most important? Though the Bible gives advice and guidance on how to order our day, God is much more interested in the entire life of a person.

Paul instructs in Ephesians 5:15–16, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." Moses prayed, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). Time dwindles. Our lives are brief. We want to use our time wisely.

David wrote, "O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!" (Psalm 39:4–5). Similarly, James 4:14 says, "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." We simply do not know how much time on this earth we have.

We can conclude that because our time is short, and we don't know how much time we really have, time management is important. In other words, how should we spend our time? What is really important?

The Bible says that what we do will be tested: "Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Corinthians 3:12–15). We should spend our time on things of eternal worth.

Apart from the general concept of using our time on things that truly matter, the Bible also gives practical wisdom about ordering our days. For example, the Bible talks about working hard and avoiding slothfulness (Proverbs 6:10–11; 12:24; 13:4; Colossians 3:23–24; 2 Thessalonians 3:10–12), praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), stewardship (Matthew 25:14–30), delegation (taught by Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, in Exodus 18:17–23), the need for rest (Hebrews 4:9–11; Mark 2:27–28), doing good to others (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13), being salt and light to the world around us (Matthew 5:13–16), fellowshipping with other believers (Hebrews 10:24–25), sharing the gospel (Matthew 28:18–20), and more. The entire Bible offers us counsel for how to manage our time (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17). God has equipped us with all we need to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3–11).

God gave us a mission just before he left earth: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19–20).

Line up your time with God's Word—this is the best management of your time.

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