You are my Facebook Friend, Part II

16 Aug

Ephesians 5:16, 17, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Since we have already determined that we don’t know many people who could raise their hands to say that they redeem their time, all of the time, in productive activity, let’s talk about priorities in life, and how we can better meet them.

What would be on top of the list of God-given priorities?  How would the rest of the list shape up?

First would be God Himself.  I think we can all agree that if we are interacting on Facebook, shopping recreationally, playing golf, or indulging ourselves in whatever our hobby might be on a day when we don’t have a quiet time of Scripture reading and prayer, we are not prioritizing correctly.

Second, would be our family.  I am going to say this to both genders.  The men may ignore me because I am a woman (ha ha), but I am going to say it anyway!  Our homes don’t clean themselves.  If you have a family, there has to be a plan for how to take care of their needs and one of those needs is to have a home that is livable.  If the plan falls more on one set of shoulders than the other, that is up to you as a couple, but there needs to be a plan.  In our home, I gladly trade off yardwork and commissary shopping (my husband’s jobs) for cleaning the house and cooking (my jobs).  That is just how it works for us.

Notice, no one said a home has to be immaculate.  I have friends who are great organizers with homes that seem very systematic.  Their mornings may be very smooth-flowing every day.  I admire that in them.  I have also known the occasional person whose house seems not only organized, but perfectly clean 100% of the time.  While I always admire these folks, I would say their home is their hobby.

Along with a livable home, is time spent with the family, just enjoying being a family.  Encouraging and nurturing each other.  I think it is great that science is just now showing us that babies learn to speak by lip-reading the people around them.  Even before we knew that, we intuitively knew that God wants us to spend time talking with our children (not at them, not on the phone to others while in their presence, but to our children, just because they are ours and it is our job to train them).

So, if we are going fishing or playing on-line games while our house looks like an episode of the hoarders show on television, or if we are cleverly bantering on-line with our social media friends while our own child is struggling with literacy issues, we may need to readjust our priorities a bit.

Third, comes our job.  Most jobs have policies that delineate whether people are allowed to phone, text, use Facebook, or otherwise deviate from strict devotion to duty during the eight or more hours we are at work, so I will leave that part to your bosses, with the caveat that we should not be sneaking in activities that they would not approve.

Woven into the above three priorities, we know that it is God’s intent for us to be redemptive influences on a dying world.  Matthew 28:19, 20 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen.”

That, in itself, could keep us going 48 hours a day.  Good thing Jesus Himself showed us an example by engaging in times of rest with His disciples, or we could make a case for guilting each other into having no recreational activities whatsoever.

While nobody among us perfectly meets all of the above requirements in life, we should aim to be well-involved in all of them.  We also do well to show each other grace as we grow in these areas.  If we use a heavy hand when we point out areas where we think others waste time, we should not be surprised if they are less than gracious in turning our analogy back around on us!

Pastors and others in a teaching role often gently counsel us, individually or in a congregation, in this area.  If we are wise, we will heed their words.  If we are wise, we will also let it go when people make off-handed remarks about our golf activities, on-line games, or Facebook being timewasters.  Chances are, if God had sent them to us to convict us of an area where we need to grow, they would have started their remarks by being gracious.

There are far too many judges in this world, and perhaps some of them spend time they could redeem elsewhere coming up with their judgments of us as we strive to grow in Christ.  That doesn’t mean we should turn around and judge the judgers.  Just move on.

I long ago learned that there are literally hundreds of things God wants to improve in me before I go to heaven.  But, being human, I can only work on, at most, 4 or 5 of them at a time.  If I were to listen to everyone who thought they knew the one most important thing I needed to improve right now . . .

Let’s listen to God.  We don’t have to be dismissive of others, but their judgmentalism is, truly, their issue, between them and God.  Don’t focus on them, but move on, learning more and more about redeeming the time!


2 Responses to “You are my Facebook Friend, Part II”

  1. Ray Fulayter August 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

    Much food for thought. God sets our priorities well in Matthew 22:34-40, by reminding us what is really at the top of His list.

  2. Christina Rohrer August 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM #

    Nicely done, Mary. I think our ability to effectively prioritize is directly tied to our relationship with God. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ‘”friend” God to our Facebook page? Haha! Truthfully we can do better than that, we can get on our knees and FEEL Him!

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