Let’s be real. We have a lot to do as leaders. We’re pulled in multiple directions, facing constant interruptions, often feeling like we just don’t have enough time to do it all. The good news? The Spirit helps us manage time if we yield to His leading and work in our lives. On our own, we’ll lean toward our natural tendencies which could fall somewhere on the spectrum of …
- procrastinating to highly driven
- people-pleasing to walking on people to get things done
- being laser focused to easily distracted
How the Holy Spirit Helps Us Manage Time
As our lives bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), we will find our time management less and less headed toward any of the above extremes on the spectrums. These traits will steer us toward what we need to effectively manage time in light of eternity.
Jesus identified love as the greatest commandment under which all else falls (Matt. 22:37-40). Consequently we will assess our time usage against the priority of first and foremost loving God and then people.
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Love
Our minds need to stay focused on what is good and uplifting (Phil. 4:8) so we don’t start begrudging and complaining about all we have to do and so we don’t allow the stress of ministry to overtake us and pull us down.
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Joy
Some things are out of our control. We need to learn to be okay with not doing it all or fixing everything. We must learn to be content in whatever our circumstances might be (Phil. 4:11-13).
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Peace
While results do matter, so does the process matter to God (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17). The end does not justify the means. It isn’t just about checking something off our “to do” list.
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Patience
Sometimes we perceive disruptions in our schedule as simple annoyances but other times interruptions strike us as purely inconsiderate and rude. We may need to address what’s happening but must always speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15; Col. 4:6).
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Kindness
Since there are so many directions we can get pulled in and only so much time, we need to exercise discernment over how to best accomplish God’s priorities for us (Eph. 5:15-17; Col. 4:5-6). In light of eternity, what is most profitable for us to do (Titus 3:14)?
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Goodness
How easily we can get derailed from our primary purposes. We can find ourselves merely spinning our wheels and wasting time in that which yields little in terms of eternity. As accountable stewards, we must diligently press on (Phil. 3:12-14; 1 Tim. 4:15-16) and let go of that which hinders us (Heb. 12:1-2).
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Faithfulness
Truly meeting needs requires us to be sensitive and adapt (1 Cor. 9:19-23). Yet, rigid schedules make it difficult for us to bend and so we become reactive rather than responsive, defensive or disparaging when perceiving a threat to our agendas.
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Gentleness
We need to get beyond self-indulging behavior to that which truly counts for eternity (Gal. 5:13-26). We need to know when to say “no” or “not now” or let somebody else do it. We must learn to wait when necessary and move when it’s time to go.
Fruit of the Spirit Needed: Self-control