Updated: Sep 12
“The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.” (Ecc. 1:5)
It’s a finite resource. We don’t get any more, only less.
The question is, how will we spend it?
In Redeeming Your Time:7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present, and Wildly Productive by Jordan Raynor provides us with a framework of principles and practices we can utilize to help us steward our time for God’s glory and the good of others.
Redeeming Your Time | Book Review
Purpose of the Book
The author writes, “the solution to our perennial struggle with time management is found in Jesus Christ.” He writes this to help the Christian connect their theology with practice, to live for the glory of God in all we do.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION The Solution to Being Swamped
CHAPTER 1 Start with the Word
CHAPTER 2 Let Your Yes Be Yes
CHAPTER 3 Dissent from the Kingdom of Noise
CHAPTER 4 Prioritize Your Yeses
CHAPTER 5 Accept Your “Unipresence”
CHAPTER 6 Embrace Productive Rest
CHAPTER 7 Eliminate All Hurry
EPILOGUE The Dark Side of Discipline
Each chapter discusses one of the 7 biblical principles. He then provides a few ways you can practice the principle - careful to note not all practices may work for everyone.
He’s done extensive research on time management skills and theories which you’ll find in the vast array of footnotes; he also draws experience from over 200 of his podcast interviews with believers in all kinds of work.
Our Goal is Service, Not Success
No matter our career path, the Christian has a greater calling, first and foremost to be a disciple of Jesus, honouring Him in all we do. The author writes, “success isn’t our primary aim—service is, and more specifically service to our Lord and his agenda.”
As much as we strive for competence in our work, we’re working not for ourselves and an individualized idea of success, we’re aiming much higher, and for God to be made known through us, by our love for Him and for others.
Our customers, colleagues and patients are gifts to steward and serve well. I keep this intentionality as I walk the steps into my hospital with the knowledge that every patient and circumstance I’ll encounter today is one prepared by God for His glory and their good. This is a game-changer for my mindset, which leads to ministry.
The author also shares the fact that we’re going to finish this life with unfinished work. I found this more than a little unsettling to consider, not that it’s untrue, but something I’d not considered. In all my efforts and striving, part of my work will remain undone, a to-do list left incomplete.
He follows this up with the next truth that God is going to complete it, He will bring to completion the good work He has begun. We are free to pursue God’s calling on our lives, knowing we won’t finish it, but God will. This isn’t restricting, this is where our hope in Christ burns brightly and a works-based mentality will shatter. God’s sovereign hand sustains us and equips us to do on earth what he has prepared, and will complete it for eternity, because it’s His kingdom work.
Discipline. Not Everyone’s Favourite Word
Many of the time management principles in this book, and in others, will require discipline to implement. For some, this word makes you itch.
Rigid schedules aren’t for everyone in every season. Caregivers, parents with littles, anyone working in another culture may not have the ability to structure their lives in this way.
However, the principles can still guide your decision-making and your practices, you can still glorify God in a constant state of interruption, it boils down to your priorities and your calling.
Discipline isn’t our enemy. It also isn’t a gold star on a spiritual reward sheet.
We carefully pay attention to the difference between resting in Christ who equips us for good works, and pursuing good works so we can rest in Christ.
Striving won’t help us rest. Good works won’t bring us peace.
Christ does that.
So we begin with trust in what the Lord has done for us in Christ. We pause here to remember we are saved by grace through faith and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8-9). The good works we are meant to do will follow. Our roots must be firmly planted in the fertile soil of gospel truth in order for the fruit to follow.
If you’re a busy person. Stop and read this.
In this book you’ll find biblically based time management principles so you can be more effective in your work, because in doing that, you’ll work better and bring more glory to God.
While you may think time management is for office jobs, these principles are generalized and can apply to any kind of work, even if you work in the home. Mothers may feel even less need for time management skills, but I’d argue that a constantly interrupted life with littles will glean blessing from ordering and prioritizing their time well. But remember, we’re coming from a grace-based, not works based, foundation.
If you’ve found yourself in a season of burnout or frustrated with your lack of productivity you’re at the right place. If you want to use your time wisely and learn some steps to keep your focus you’ll find that here.
This book seems to play a bit off his first title, Master of One, which focuses more on investigating the work you’re called to. I haven’t read it, but added it to my TBR.
I’ve also enjoyed Jordan’s podcast called Mere Christians where he interviews Christians in all different types of work, to discover how the gospel makes a difference in their career.
# of Pages: 256
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
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Scriptures About Time
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Ps 90:12)
Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Eph 5:16)
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Prov 16:9)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt 6:33)
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Prov 6:6-8)
*No disclaimer this time. I purchased a copy!