Living for Christ as a Youth Day 4: How You Spend Your Time
“Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16, ESV)
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42, ESV)
“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 4:14, ESV)
How do you spend most of your time in a given day? During the week, a common response would be going to school or working. Now, I would like to ask how you spend your downtime, when you aren’t occupied at school or work. What do you choose to do? I’m sure different answers come to mind—maybe working out, watching Netflix, going out with family/friends, scrolling on social media, etc.
Now for my third question: how much time do you spend doing things that have eternal worth—things like reading your Bible, praying for others, serving those in need, and so on? I hope the answer isn’t “no time,” but if I’m being honest, my answer might be “less time than it should be.” I get a notification on my iPhone every Sunday with a breakdown of my Screen Time. It’s pretty convicting to look at the breakdown—most of it is split among the social media apps, but only a fraction of it is the Bible app. Is it the same for you?
Well, friend, the good thing is that it isn’t too late to change these habits. We are still on this earth, and we have the chance to create good habits for His glory. We read in Ephesians 5 that we are to “make the best use of our time, because the days are evil” (v.16). We can make the choice to use our time in a more productive and intentional manner. When the verse says the “days are evil,” that refers to the sin in our world. We read in Revelation about the signs of the coming judgement, and that day is drawing closer and closer. May this truth create a sense of urgency among all of us to spend more of our time with Him and for Him.
If you’re like me, you often find yourself aimlessly scrolling for hours on social media. I’m not saying all social media is bad, but mindless scrolling for a large portion of our day isn’t profitable. The internet has dangerous components: cyberbullying, self-image issues due to comparison, crossing the line with inappropriate pictures or videos, and the list goes on. Is there anything you look at on social media you wouldn’t want to show your parents? Something you wouldn’t want to show your friends? You may be able to hide it from them, but God sees everything we do. Does it make you ashamed that He can see your browser history or what you search on social media? Sorry for all the deep questions, but it’s better than just brushing over the topic.
The best example of someone spending their time in the right way is the Lord Jesus. When He came down to this earth, they didn’t have any cellphones or social media, but there were other things that could’ve been just as distracting. In Luke 22:42, Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours, be done.” He was devoted to spending His time fulfilling the will that His Father, God, had given Him. He came to fulfill a purpose, and He spent every moment working toward this. What an example for us! What if we spent our time focusing on His will and spreading the Gospel to all those we meet?
I want to challenge you to cut down your screen time; spend less time scrolling on social media and, instead, build the habit of spending time in His Word. Instead of looking at your phone before bed or immediately when you wake up in the morning, you could use that time to pray or read His Word. I am guilty of scrolling before bed, but I find that I go to bed feeling more at peace when I’ve spent time praying or reading the Bible. It’s not easy to break habits we’ve built up, but I pray that we can build habits that are God-honoring and have eternal worth!
When we get to Heaven someday, we won’t wish we had spent more time focusing on social media, but we sure will wish we had spent more time focusing on Him. I think of this verse: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). In the little time we have, let’s honor Him with what we’ve been given. Choose today to make this a priority. Choose Him and you will always be satisfied!