Editorial - Time

“Time is money.” What does this old adage mean? Does it mean that time is identical to money? The answer could be either “yes” or “no.” Time is as valuable as money, but there is a difference between the two: money can be saved; time can’t. If you don’t use it, you lose it forever. We sometimes hear people say, “This is a ‘once in a lifetime' opportunity.” What does that mean? It means if you don’t grab the opportunity, it will be gone forever, and you will never have that moment again.

Time and money are two identical components in terms of financial worth. If you spend your time, it is just like you spent your money. However, the study shows that time is the most valuable commodity; that time is more valuable than money (Elizabeth Harris on Money as a Valuable Commodity).

In case you don’t consider that time is truly valuable, ask a student who failed a final exam how he or she values one year spent in vain. You may also ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby how she values one month more of her pregnancy, or ask a weekly magazine editor how he or she values one week of time in preparation to publish it. You may also ask someone who is terminally ill how he or she values one day of still being alive; or ask someone who missed an appointment with a surgeon or specialist how he or she values one hour of being late. Someone who missed a plane could tell us how he or she values one minute, and the Olympic medalist could tell us how he or she values one second when reaching the finish line—one second ahead of the others. Indeed, time is absolutely valuable.

The bottom line is, whether it is one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, or one year, time is valued. That is why Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is” (NASB). The Bible admonishes us that we have to be wise in making the most of our time because we can never recover the moment after it has been missed or the time after it has been wasted. Ellen White emphasized, “They should realize that they are responsible for the use they make of their entrusted possessions; that their strength, their time, and their money are to be used wisely, and not for selfish purposes.”—Counsel on Parents, Teachers, and Students, p.147.

Time is a precious gift that God gave to each and every one of us—twenty-four hours per day—and one of the things we are responsible to God for is time. How the quality and quantity of time we spend will impact our lives depends on how wisely we use the time. Giving time to your marriage and your children is essential; but above all, giving time to God is more important than giving it to anyone or to anything else. How do we respond and give our accountability to God on the time He gives us? Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Martin Luther gave quality time to God and made it a priority.

How about us? Make God first in the first moment we wake up in the morning. Set the time to commune with Him through prayer, Bible study, Spirit of Prophecy reading, Sabbath School lesson study, and family worship. Time is like a “coin,”; it is only we who can determine how it will be spent. So, give our time to God because it is the greatest gift we can give to Him. Why? When we give our time to God, we are giving a portion of our lives that we never get back again. Ellen White wrote, “Money, time, influence—all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 71. Let us value the time we have, use it wisely, and spend it to spread the gospel message and advancing God’s work.

Hiskia I Missah

Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.