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.
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.
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.
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?