Making Wise Use of Our Time
1 Time is a very valuable asset of each Christian. How are you using this asset? During December we should set aside regular times to engage in the house-to-house ministry, offering the New World Translation and any 192-page book for a contribution of $3.75. Time, like money, can be wasted, even squandered, or it can be used wisely. As Christians, our love for Jehovah, Jesus Christ and our fellowman should impel us to use our time wisely, “buying out the opportune time.”—Eph. 5:16.
2 In so doing the Christian’s course is far different from the one pursued by those who love this old system. Paul foretold that people living in the last days would be “lovers of pleasures,” and how true that is! (2 Tim. 3:4) Most people today spend many hours each week just watching TV or going to movies. Others become involved in sports, video games, excessive vacation trips, music and hobbies, all of which can take much time.
SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST
3 Does this mean that a Christian should not enjoy relaxation in some form of wholesome recreation? Certainly not! Even Jesus enjoyed banquets and special meals. He also took time for needed rest. However, Jesus did not make eating, drinking or personal pleasures the big things in his life. Rather, he took delight in doing his Father’s will. (John 4:34) He warned us that the physical pleasures of life should not take precedence over Jehovah’s service. (Luke 21:34; Matt. 6:31-33) So we do well to follow Jesus’ example in making wise use of our time.
4 In order to help us accomplish this it is good to view time as an asset to be used wisely. We should not use time selfishly, just for our own pleasure. Rather, we should continue to ‘buy out the time’ and support the preaching and disciple-making activity of the congregation, “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord.”—1 Cor. 15:58.
5 There are some practical things we can do so as to make wise use of time. One suggestion is to have a reasonable, workable schedule of activities. While at times this schedule may allow for relaxation or recreation, spiritual interests should be highlighted. It should include attendance at all congregation meetings, field service on a regular basis and taking time for personal Bible study to keep abreast of the truth. Now you will be able to use the new calendar to help schedule your time.
6 Parents, of course, have the additional responsibility of helping their children to be active in spiritual things. So they may find it advisable to sit down and work out a reasonable schedule of theocratic activity for the whole family, including their own personal schedules as Christian parents. Thus, they show a personal interest in their children’s welfare and their wise use of time.—Eph. 6:4.
7 It is often helpful to have personal goals in connection with our field ministry. Such should be reasonable, attainable goals. We may decide to spend a certain number of hours in field service each month. If we really work toward our goal we will seldom fail to meet it and may often surpass it. Many have found either auxiliary or regular pioneering to be a reasonable goal.
8 Improving the quality of service is also a worthy goal. Can you think of ways in which you can make better use of your time in the ministry? For example, could you improve your teaching ability at the doors by using more effective introductions? (See “Presenting the Good News.”) Could you be more effective in conducting Bible studies or improve the way you direct interested persons to Jehovah’s Word and his organization? In doing so you can truly make wise use of your time in the service.
9 What can be done if you find very few people at home? Why not call at a different time of day or another day. Some publishers have good success in speaking to people walking along the sidewalk, thus possibly reaching some who were not at home. While engaging in street work it is not good to walk along in twos or threes talking with one another. Rather, separate and approach people so as to start conversations with them. Thus, time is used more effectively and more joy is derived from service.
10 It is good to remember that our time is a wonderful asset that Jehovah has given us. Let us always use it wisely, not selfishly. Personally consider how you might improve in your own use of time, especially the time set aside for spiritual activities. Continue to walk “not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time” in these last days of Satan’s old system of things.—Eph. 5:15, 16.