Guest Post – Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Two exciting events are taking place today on Struggle to Victory.

First, the first guest post on this blog appears below and comes to us from Loren Pinilis at Life of a Steward. The mission of Life of a Steward is equipping God’s people to be good stewards of their time so that they may advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ and bring Him glory.” As this mission statement indicates, Life of a Steward focuses on Christian time management, and I encourage you to check out his blog posts and podcasts.

If you would like to guest post on Struggle to Victory, please read Recommendations and Guest Posts.

The second exciting event, is that this is the 100th POST on Struggle to Victory. The fact that Loren’s guest post happened to be the 100th post (and I did not schedule it that way… pure coincidence, if you believe in that sort of thing) is what I call a “God thing” because Loren truly got at why Struggle to Victory exists.

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What images come to mind when you think about properly managing your time? How should a Christian view their time – and how should we live based on that view?

The scriptures speak of “redeeming the time” or, as other translations say, “making the most of every opportunity.”

It’s a familiar scriptural concept, taken from Ephesians 5:15-16: “Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

I wonder, though, if our modern culture misses much of what this verse is saying.

Our Thoughts

The popular view of time management is one of maximizing those precious seconds. It’s about prioritizing and planning. It’s about focusing and avoiding distractions. It’s about efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately cramming as much into our day as possible.

So we often think of redeeming the time in the same context. We think that redeeming the time is to take full advantage of calendars, schedules, and productivity apps in order to not waste a precious second of our lives.

To many, redeeming the time is about battling the clock.

Kairos and Chronos

That concept isn’t necessarily bad, but that’s not really what Paul has in mind in Ephesians 5.

The Greek language has two words for time – chronos and kairos. Chronos is what we think of when we tend to talk about time – measurable time divided up into minutes and seconds.

Kairos, on the other hand, was not about the quantity of time – it was about the right time, the appointed time, the opportune time.

“How much time is in a day?” uses the chronos concept of time. “Is now the time to celebrate?” uses the kairos concept.

Paul’s Words

When Paul speaks of redeeming our time in Ephesians 5, he uses the word kairos.

So Paul is not necessarily asking us to measure our minutes and seconds and maximize them. He’s telling us to be on the lookout for opportunities – and to make the best use of those.

Modern society says the way to manage your time is to get away from distractions and focus. Think of your goals and your passions – and then put your head down and work, work, work.

Paul says that the way we should manage our time is to be alert. Be conscious of the opportunities that you have right now – and don’t let those go to waste.

Seeing the Opportunities

It may sound like a subtle difference, but what if we thought like Paul instead of buying in to what our culture tells us?

If you have children at home, you have a unique opportunity today to raise them. They’re growing day by day, and this window of time will eventually pass you by. Are you making the most of that opportunity?

Do you have the opportunity right now to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ? They may need it.

Do you have the opportunity to love your spouse?

To spend time with neighbors?

Do you have the opportunity to evangelize to a lost person?

To teach and disciple?

To feed the hungry or clothe the poor?

To visit the widows and protect the orphans?

Do you have the opportunity when you’re younger to exercise, eat right, and care for your body?

To read and grow?

To pray and fast?

DISCUSSION: What would happen to your life if you shifted your perspective from minutes and seconds to opportunities?

 

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14 thoughts on “Guest Post – Making the Most of Every Opportunity

  1. I like all your questions, Loren. They're so different than the world's questions: what will make you happy? What will make you fulfilled? What's your passion?

    Our best hope of being fulfilled is to love God with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves. Your questions help us put the focus where God wants it to be.

  2. I think it is good to have that mindset of looking for opportunities as they present themselves. This is especially true for parents to look for teachable moments with their kids. I do think while having this mindset you still need to approach days and weeks by developing plans and goals that you can slot into time to be able to make sure you are giving attention to the things that matter most to you. It is also important that discretion is used when opportunities present themselves. Most likely we will not be able to do every good thing that comes up and that takes wisdom to decide should I move from what I am doing to this opportunity or not. It would be easy to just jump from thing to thing and get caught up in "doing" instead of accomplishing something worthwhile. It takes discipline to have this mindset but without it we will miss out on some truly worthwhile opportunities.

    • I love the concept of looking for teachable moments with our children – what a great example of an opportunity that we don't want to pass up.
      And I agree – it takes wisdom in order to determine what opportunities are worth pursuing and what opportunities only take us away from something better. It's not helpful to chase everything shiny. I believe achieving that wisdom is the pursuit of a lifetime.

      • The world throws so many shiny things at us, that it's so hard to decide what is worth our time. So much seems worthy. How do we simplify and have time for those teachable moments? Praying for that wisdom is the only solution I know of that works. It's that progressive sanctification that allows us to obtain that wisdom. As I've simplified my life, more and more teachable moments come my way. Learning to love the process.

  3. This is very informative and thought provoking and certainly is something many of us struggle with! What a great post. Thanks Kari and Loren. Mary

  4. Loren, I've never stopped to think about chronos versus kairos. I knew the concepts, but as with all Scriptural concepts . . . knowing the best way to apply them can make all the difference. I intend to be much more deliberate about making the most of every opportunity. Thanks and blessings!

      • Isn't it amazing how different cultures view time? Even just in the US we have so many different view of time. Hawaii to Colorado to Michigan to rural to big city… Definitely gives perspective.

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