Time Better than Money
“TIME is money,” says the popular slogan. But time is better than money. When it is traded for wisdom rather than wages its value becomes priceless. “Choose instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than rare gold; for wisdom is better than rubies, no treasure is equal to her.” Time spent in study to gain such wisdom is better than time used to make money, for while wealth may offer limited security now, the right knowledge can safeguard one’s very life at Armageddon: “Wisdom like wealth is a defence, but knowledge does more good than money, it safeguards a man’s life.”—Prov. 8:10, 11; Eccl. 7:12, Mo.
A lifetime spent accumulating wealth is a lifetime wasted. Money hoarded up, unused for good works, is a witness against its greedy possessor: “Come, now, you rich men, weep, howling over your calamities which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your outer garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their rust will be as a witness against you and will eat your fleshy parts. Something like fire is what you have stored up in the last days. Look! the wages due the workers who harvested your fields but which are held up by you, keep crying out, and the calls . . . have entered into the ears of Jehovah of hosts.”—Jas. 5:1-4, NW.
Will their money defend them from divine wrath at Armageddon? Never, for “neither their silver nor their gold will be able to rescue them. On the day of the wrath of the LORD, and in the fire of his zeal, all the earth shall be consumed; for a complete destruction, indeed a frightful one, will he make of all the inhabitants of the earth”. Just before the destruction that was typical of Armageddon came upon Jerusalem Jehovah’s prophet said: “Their silver shall they fling into the streets, and their gold shall become to them as an unclean thing; for their silver and their gold shall not be able to save them on the day of the LORD’S wrath.” (Zeph. 1:18; Ezek. 7:19, AT) For Christians it is true, “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.”—1 Tim. 6:10, NW.
How different the results when time is used to gain wisdom instead of money! Concerning the worth of wisdom it is written: “How happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding! For her income is better than income of silver, and her revenue than gold. She is more precious than corals, and none of your heart’s desires can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who grasp her, and happy is every one who holds her fast.” (Prov. 3:13-18, AT) When we take in knowledge of God and Christ and give it out by preaching to others, it means everlasting life in Jehovah’s new world.—John 17:3; Rom. 10:10, NW.
Time is especially precious now. Not because the laborer’s time draws higher wages than heretofore, but because time to take in knowledge of Jehovah and Christ is running out. When Christ was enthroned, in 1914, great tribulation was started against Satan and his wicked world organization. If it had then proceeded to completion, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of human flesh that tribulation was shortened or cut short, to allow a period of time for men to take in and give out knowledge of the established heavenly kingdom, before that tribulation enters its climax of Armageddon. (Matt. 24:21, 22) This time period, known as the last days of Satan’s delinquent old world, will not stretch beyond this present generation. The precious time grows short.
Jehovah provides this period of time for man’s good, for man to study His Word, for man to see the foretold visible sign of Christ’s second presence and conform himself to the requirements of the Kingdom. But Satan opposes this wise use of time. He floods in woes to divert human efforts, and drives frustrated masses into various ways of escape from reality. Because of the mounting failures in world economics and politics, disheartened persons drown their worries in easy delinquencies or an endless run of entertainments.
To illustrate, consider television. It is a marvel of human ingenuity in putting to work invisible forces of the universe, and if used to best advantage could be a real boon to mankind. But many low-quality programs and much immoderate use combine to undermine its value. Nevertheless, even now its moderate use in viewing the better programs may offer a measure of relaxing diversion. Used with wise limitation, it can provide relaxation for Christians right in their homes, without their having to seek diversion in worldly audiences that may in these tense times rise up against the Christians in their midst that maintain integrity.
But instead of a moderate use of television by people generally, what do we frequently find? The evening meal over, the family rush for their seats before the television screen, there to sit for hours, till bedtime. No time for family conversation. No time for study. No time to serve God. Only time for television. Just time to sit before the screen and soak up propaganda and entertainment. So absorbed are they that they may refuse to leave their seats before the television for an hour a week, to share in a home Bible study.
But will television deliver them at Armageddon? Will their little god of the living room shelter them from Jehovah’s wrath? Time consumed on it might have been used to study, to transform their mind, to make it over, to gain godly wisdom, which is not to be compared to rubies, silver, gold, money or television; but instead they will be “destroyed for lack of knowledge”. (Hos. 4:6) The marvelous invention has been misused by them till it has become a satanic snare to capture their mind, to keep their eye glued to a television screen, not allowing them time to see the sign of the second presence of Christ or to mentally discern the import of such sign and learn what they should do to successfully meet the crisis.
Certainly the time of this special period allowed by Jehovah in these last days is better than money, and to waste this time is worse than wasting money. It is wasting the opportunity for endless life in a new world wherein men will “long enjoy the work of their hands”. And surely in that new world blessed by Jehovah the work of men’s hands that will be long enjoyed will far surpass the present inventions of this dying old world under Satan.