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Stewards of Time By Dr. Marybeth Leavell

There is Never Enough Time

In our fast-paced society, “there just isn’t enough time to get everything done!”.

Most leaders feel that their list of things to do is too long and urgent, resulting in stressful days and sleepless nights. And it is often worse for Christian leaders.

In his book The Tyranny of Time, Robert Banks states that in addition to family and work obligations, Christians tend to be at the forefront of church and other charitable organizations. This commitment to multiple areas of life results in “Christians are always on the move, always in a rush, and always late.”

Time is a Resource

As Christians, God entrusts us with time, talents, treasure, and relationships to steward during our time on Earth. However, it often seems that time is the most difficult to manage. Time is a valuable resource that has its boundaries only here on Earth. Eternity does not operate based on the revolving or rotating of the Earth.

The problem we face is not the amount of time given to us but our view of time and how we should use it. The Bible teaches that time is a resource for God’s purposes. If we are not careful, our Western mindset will limit our focus of time solely on performance or accomplishment. When this happens, we lose the ability to enjoy the work that God has given us.

God Moments

The concept of time in the Bible does not stress the continuity of time but emphasizes God-given moments in history. These “God moments” are when God intersects our world to advance His purposes. This concept of time is referred to as Kairos (Gk). Kairos implies “in its season or time” and means opportunity. God also has ordained specific points when He meets with His people and changes the ordinary course of history.

These designated times are God’s “appointed times” (mo’ed). The Word mo’ed is a Hebrew word used to indicate God’s set appointments and festivals, which are designated times of meeting and fellowship with God and are also prophetic. Because time originated as a by-product of creation, our view of it should be from the Creator’s perspective, not ours. God’s Word is essentially a record of all the times that God has used mo’eds and kairos to convey His plan for His people and His world. From His perspective, two of the most important concepts regarding the stewardship of time are the importance of numbering our days and redeeming the time.

Number Our Days

David prayed that God would teach him to number his days (Ps. 39:4-5). Numbering our days includes evaluating the use and management of our time because life is short. None of us knows how much time we will have here on Earth, but we know that it is infinitely less time than we will have in eternity!

  • Am I busy because of my desire to appear necessary? In our society, busyness equates with success.
  • Am I busy to cover up laziness? Engaging in many activities is more accessible than spending time in prayer and God’s Word.
  • Am I busy because of greed? Greed can be for more money, power, praise, position, or security.

To number our days includes evaluating the quality of time spent. The quantity of time is usually not as crucial as the quality. Am I distracted when I spend time with my family or with God? What are my motives and goals? Are they focused on God’s purposes or mine?

Redeem the Time

Paul tells us to be aware of our earthly time orientation regarding God’s timetables for the world. Ephesians 5:15 encourages us to be careful how we live, redeeming the time and taking advantage of every opportunity. Why? Because the days are evil, filled with deceptions designed to cause us to miss the will of God. If we “redeem the time,” we rescue time from activities that displease God and have no eternal value. There is a time coming of harvest and rewards for faithful service. Knowing this provides motivation to do His work while we have an opportunity.


Being a good steward of time requires understanding that God has a plan. We are part of that plan. As children of God and citizens of heaven who are aliens on this planet, we need to grasp who we are as Christians. We become a new creation when we come to a new life in Christ. We are now eternal beings living on Earth, and our purpose and meaning for life come from Him rather than earthly pursuits.

However, everything in this world is designed to draw us away from His purposes. Therefore, we must walk carefully so that we do not fall prey to the many earthly demands of our time. In addition, we must understand why we are here for such a time as this. Our eternal purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever by knowing Him and making Him known to others. Considering this purpose, everything we do must be evaluated if we are to be good and faithful stewards of time.


Dr. Mary Leavell is an Adjunct Faculty/Methodologist at Columbia International University. She is an experienced educational consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry.

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