Time Management: Do You Tithe Your Time?
Time management? Do you tithe your time? How do you use your time? Do you give the Lord what He is due–every day, every hour, every moment?
Many people are under the impression that Christians in our day are to tithe their financial income. They would say that the follower of Jesus should devote one-tenth of his wages to the Lord. Sometimes this is made a formal requirement of a church or at least it is highly recommended. The Old Testament is cited to prove this assertion. In our booklet and website article, Christian Giving, we seek to show that there are serious negatives to this practice. One of these is that people somehow conclude that if they give 10 percent of their income, they are free to use the remaining 90 percent in any way they choose. After all, the Lord owns a tenth while the Christian supposedly owns nine-tenths.
In the study mentioned above, we show that all of our income belongs to the Lord and we should give as much as we can to the work of the Lord! We are responsible to use all of it in a loving and responsible way, both for the Lords work directly as well as other believers who are in spiritual, physical, and material need.
While we do not stress the tithe and think that it has been the cause of much harm, it has occurred to us that we dont do the same with our other stewardshipthe use of our time. God gives each of us 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. Do we tithe the time that God has allotted us? If we insist on a tithe of our income, why not a tithe of our time?
How much would a tithe of our time be? Since there are 24 hours in a day, a tithe of this would be 144 minutes, which is one-tenth of the 1,440 minutes in a day. This would be two hours and 24 minutes tithe each day. If we look at this in a week, a tithe of our weekly time would amount to 1,008 minutes (one-tenth of 10,080 minutes), or 16 hours and 48 minutes. Do we devote this much of our time to the Lord and His work?
Is it too much to devote this time to our God who has redeemed us through Christ? We know that all of our timeall 168 hours in a weekbelongs to God. But do we use a mere 16 or 17 hours of this directly in spiritual works and pursuits? Consider your own life.
If we go to Christian meetings three times a week for an average of two hours a time, this would be six hours in meetings in a week. If we read our Bible for an hour a day and pray for an hour a day, this would be fourteen more hours a week. The total would be twenty hours a week, a little more than a tithe of our time. Here is the tally:
- Six hours in Christian meetings
- Seven hours reading and studying Scripture
- Seven hours praying to and worshiping the Lord
I am confident that most professing Christians dont devote this much to the Lord in a direct way. Yes, it is true that raising a family, earning a living, sleeping, exercising, and doing good deeds to those in need are all Gods will and all of this takes timemuch time. We cant compartmentalize the Lord and say that certain time belongs to Him while certain other time belongs to us. No, He owns all of our time just as He owns all of our money and possessions. We just want to suggest to those with sensitive hearts that we need to be giving more of our time to spiritual pursuits. Sadly, many professing Christians may only gather with others in meetings for two hours a week, and may only read Scripture for ten minutes a day and pray for a mere fifteen minutes. This would be a mere 3.4 percent of ones weekly time. Is this reasonable in light of Gods rich blessings poured on us? Is it logical that we give the Lord so little in light of His amazing grace, His tender mercies, and His steadfast love?
We are aware that we do many other things to serve the Lord, such as helping the needy, caring for the distressed, serving the weak and sick, and working to keep the Christian meeting place neat and clean. Thus, we should not take this little article as a blueprint for our Christian work. This would be legalism, pure and simple.
Just as many Christians are able to give much more than a tithe of their income to the Lord and His work, many Christians may be able to give more than a tithe of their time. For instance, a retiree may be able to give much more of his time to the Lords work than a wage-earner. He has 40 or 50 additional hours as compared to the one who is employed in secular work. Sadly, many older men and women selfishly look on retirement as a time to have fun each day, going fishing and playing golf, or watching the foolishness on television. This is deplorable and surely they will need to give account to the Lord for their pleasure-seeking, waste of time, and irresponsibility. The man who retires from a regular job and an older woman who has no children or job have the excellent opportunity to give much more of their time to prayer, to Bible reading, to visiting the sick, to teaching new converts, and preaching to the lost. Much needs to be done and much can be done!
One more thought might be inserted here. We all come from different backgrounds and different stations in life. Each of us has unique gifts and capacities, resources and potentials, in life. God expects us to use what He has given to us in the best possible waylaying up treasure in heaven rather than riches on earth. God knows how much time you should give back to the Lord. It is up to us to do what we can with what we have.
We only want to stir the conscience of sincere believers and encourage us all to give the Lord all that we canin time as well as in money. Anything less is unworthy of our God and King.