The New Testament demonstrates a sense of urgency when speaking about the last days. The apostle Paul writes: 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. (Eph. 5:15–17)
Paul tells us not to make good use of our time, but to make the best use of our time. His understanding of the present evil age leads him to strong exhortation regarding the way followers of Jesus must manage our time. Our lives are so short. James reminds us that our life is little more than “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
Why then do we fritter so much of our lives away in front of the television screen? Why do we spend every evening playing or watching sports? Why do we spend our weekends roaming the shopping malls, looking at more things we do not need?
Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Seeking first the kingdom means we are not seeking after the same things as the pagan world around us: food, drink, and clothing. We must take a good look at our lives.
Do we shop as often, and for the same things, as our non-Christian neighbors? Do we covet all the newest fashions? Are we as drawn to the latest technological gizmos as everyone else? Too often, we give lip service to seeking first the kingdom, while our lives demonstrate pagan preoccupations.
Trevin offers some practical application:
Prioritizing our Faith - Will we make time for daily Bible study and prayer? Will we share meals around the table instead of in front of the tube? Will we engage in family prayer and worship?
Sports - When organized sports leagues play on Sundays will we pay lip service to Jesus as king and yet demonstrate by our recreational choices that something else is on the throne?
Planning Quiet Moments - Are you planning moments of contemplative solitude?
Avoiding Time Wasters - Maybe this means taking the radical step of cutting television altogether. Some fast from television. Some return cable boxes. The point is, are you structuring free time to avoid time wasters?
Intentionality - My wife and I practice “intentional TV watching.” Every now and then, we will purchase a DVD of a classic television show we enjoy, and over time, we will watch the episodes together. Entertainment can and should be enjoyed, but it must never dominate our lives. We structure our time in such a way that it is obvious to the world that we have different priorities.
This excerpt is modified from Holy Subversion by Trevin Wax.