Did you know there's a difference between being busy and being fruitful? Did you ever stop to think that just being busy – running around in circles all day but not accomplishing anything – is the same as wasting your time? It's frustrating to expend so much energy and time and not have any fruit from your effort! I think a lot of our busyness is an attack from Satan, and I believe there are seven different ways that he causes us to waste the time God has given us.
The first way we waste time is through what I call "dead works." A dead work is trying to make something happen and no matter what you do, it's just not working. The reason it's not working is because it's your work and not God's. There's a difference between working the works of God and the works of the flesh. Dead works wear us out and produce no fruit. They are done with wrong motives and only bring us frustration. They steal our time and distract us from what God has for us.
The second way we waste time is through worry. Worry will actually fatigue you and can even make you sick. Worry pulls you away from your fellowship with God. Matthew 6:25-26 says, Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? (The Amplified Bible). These verses remind us that God will take care of us! But when you choose to worry, you open a door for the devil to work in your life. When you pray instead, you open a door for God to work.
The number three time-waster is reasoning. Are you a "figure-outer"? I used to be. In fact, I was addicted to figuring things out. If I had a problem or if there was something going on in my life that I didn't understand, I would rotate my mind around and around it until I felt like I had an answer. I couldn't have any peace until I felt like I knew what was going on. I wanted to be in control. It's important to realize that there will always be unanswered questions in life and things you don't understand. Trying to figure these things out will only make you more confused.
The fourth thing is guilt. I was tormented with guilt for years and years. In fact, it was so bad that if I didn't feel wrong, I didn't feel right! But I have learned what Romans 8:1 means, about not living under condemnation. And if you have asked for God's forgiveness and truly repented…you are forgiven! You are the righteousness of God in Christ, and you have nothing to feel guilty about.
Number five is anger. Whatever is making you so angry, it's time for you to give it to God and get over it. Life isn't fair, but God is. He will bring justice into your life, but you must drop that offense, leave it, let it go, and trust God to bring resolution in His perfect timing.
The sixth way we waste our time is by trying to fix someone who doesn't want to be fixed. Even Jesus Himself couldn't heal or deliver or rescue someone unless they really wanted His help. And if He couldn't do that, we surely can't.
The seventh way to waste time is through dread. What is the point in dreading something that will happen anyway? You may dread paying bills or doing the dishes or even going to the grocery store. But it's time for you to get a new attitude. God said to have dominion! It's time for you to take the authority you have in Jesus and overcome dread.
Now is the time to start being productive and to stop wasting time. Make the positive choice to start bearing good fruit in your life every single day.