Time and money are two of the world’s biggest concerns. Budgeting and scheduling are always on our to-do lists, but then they don’t always seem to get done: we know it’s important but we can’t quite seem to get that knowledge to overflow into action. This problem can be especially challenging for college students, most of whom are having to do these things on their own for the first time. And a lot of us feel a little clueless. What is the Biblical view on money? Does the Bible have much to say about how we spend our time? Jacob Klimek has been tackling these topics in our Sunday morning Life Training meetings; here are a few of my takeaways from the talks.
Our money is not our own
Because of the amount of emphasis put on money by our culture, it can take an all-consuming seat in our minds. But Matthew 6:21 warns us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In verse 24, Jesus goes on to say:
“’No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.’”
Those are pretty serious words. When we read the story of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5, we see just how powerfully money can grab hold of people’s hearts.
What is the proper perspective on money then? How can we avoid becoming consumed by our bank accounts?
In Luke 16:1-9, Jesus offers us a right picture of our relationship to our money: we are just managers of God’s money.
Our money is not our own.
If we truly understood this, it would revolutionize our views on money. If we seriously lived in light of this truth, we would be more generous givers, seek the Lord’s will for our money rather than our own desires, take greater care of it and seek to be accountable in our management of it.
Our time is in His hands
Time is the great equalizer in our world. In our limited time on this earth, the world tells us we need to maximize our time to get the most value out of it for ourselves. But the Bible tells a different story: we as believers should desire to maximize our time serving others, our hands held open to the Lord in surrender to how He would have us use our time. James 4:13-14 says:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
With our vapor’s breath of a life, how to we plan our time and yet hold our hands open to what God wants?
Jacob gave a helpful analogy for thinking about prioritizing ways we spend our time. Think of time as a bowl. We can fill it either first with sand, then pebbles, then rocks - which will not fill the bowl completely - or we can start with the big rocks, then pebbles, and add sand at the end, which will fill in every crack. The big rocks are the most important things - for us as students that would be our classes and being a witness to students around us. Pebbles would be less important things like student groups and work, and sand would be the fun things that shouldn’t take precedent over anything else.
This can’t be done on our own strength.
Humanly we don’t always like the things that should be our biggest priorities. Meditating on verses like Matthew 5:16 and 28:19-20 and finding people to hold you accountable in how you are setting priorities help to change the way we think about our time. After all, as Christians, it’s not our own anyway.
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Jesus’ blood was the most precious currency the world has ever seen or ever will seen, and He spent it all to redeem us.
Now, our money and time are His to command, and that should get us excited! Because when we look at the cross, our gratitude should overflow, and slowly, it should start to change every area of our life.