I sighed and stretched lazily as I buried my feet in the sand. This, right here, was my definition of a perfect moment- warm sunshine, blue skies, crashing waves, a good book, and an open afternoon.
Free time. Unlimited free time.
I admit I can be jealous of my time. As a single woman I often view time as currency- it’s mine to spend as I wish. I’m accustomed to setting my own schedule and I tend to resent people or circumstances that intrude upon it. Too many demands on my time frustrate me.
However, the Bible tells me a different story- my life isn’t my own. I was created to glorify God. I also believe that’s why God calls some people (me among them) to be single. So they will have more time for service.
Knowing what’s right and living it out are two different things, though.
In Matthew 19 we read the story of the rich young ruler. He approached Jesus, wanting to know what he needed to do to gain eternal life in heaven. Jesus told the young man to keep the commandments- don’t lie, steal, or murder. He needed to honor his parents and love his neighbor as himself.
The young man told Jesus he kept all of those commandments. But he felt like he was still lacking something. There was conviction in his heart; Jesus’ response, however, turned him away. “Go, sell what you possess, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; come, follow me.” The Bible tells us that this seeking young man went away sad because he was wealthy. Despite his concern for his soul, he wasn’t ready to give up his things.
He was unable to live out what was right. The cost of following Jesus was too high.
Even though this is a story I’ve heard many times, it hit me in a fresh way recently. In the past, I always felt like I couldn’t relate to the rich young ruler because I didn’t have much personal wealth. However, I’ve realized that money is only one obstacle that can stand between us and knowing Jesus.
Giving my free time to others can feel like a high price to pay. When I’m selfish with my life it can keep me from serving God fully, though. When I hoard all my time I’m failing to obey God’s command to love my neighbor as myself.
What’s keeping you from seeking Jesus more fully?
What desires are taking His place in your heart?
Friends and family?
All of these are fine in their place, but Satan can use them to turn our hearts away from Jesus. Like my love of free time, anything that takes precedence over knowing and obeying God becomes an idol and will prevent us from growing as Christians.
Examine your heart and ask yourself, “What feels too costly to give up?” How is that affecting your relationship with God today?
Jesus offered the rich young ruler something greater than money- Himself. He offers us the same thing. Every desire in our hearts should pale beside that truth.
Knowing God and being able to serve Him fully is worth everything.
This week, I’m thankful for the blessing of free time! I love it, but I know it’s not all mine to spend. I’m praying that God will show me how to best use it to serve Him. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!