I use to teach leadership to students in urban schools through an organization called GR Initiative for Leaders. At the start of the academic year we would
spend a couple weeks introduce the concept of leadership to the students we worked with. We spent the first few weeks convincing our students that while some people are born with natural leadership characteristics or raised in a ‘better’ socioeconomic circumstance, we are all leading ourselves and others in one direction of another.
We would then share our definition of Leadership: Influence + Responsibility.
The point of these lessons were for each student to see that no matter what they initially thought about being a leader, they all had influence over a number of people (cousins, friends, siblings, teammates, etc.) and, depending on how they spent their time, they could significantly increase their influence in a positive way.
In the same way, how we spend our time influences us in either a positive or negative way.
The way we are influenced is the same way we influence the people around us.
I had a college baseball coach who really knew how to use his time well. Some of the most profound and influential moments from my undergrad years came from the short 30 second interactions he had with us in random places around campus as well as during and after games.
I would frequently visit him in his office after our workouts. Almost every day there would be a Bible or another Christian book open on his desk. It became clear that he spent his free time reading and studying the Bible.
What proceeded out of his mouth came from how he spent his time.
Many of us often neglect our own hearts and spend all of our time watching Netflix, listening to violent or sexually charged music, and/or spending hours on social media. And we wonder why we get angry so quickly or react so poorly to our friends, family and co-workers.
Sometimes what we spend our time doing overrides even our deepest moral and religious beliefs.
The point is that what we spend our time doing deeply impacts our core beliefs in a way that alters the way we interact with each other.
We have to redeem the way we spend our time in order to be able to redeem our relationships with God and others.
If one of us would like to spend more time praying and less time on social media, find someone to help you make that change. Figure out what kind of restrictions would help you the most and put them into action.
For me, redeeming the way I use my time has helped the condition of my soul as well as the way I interact with my friends, family and strangers. I still have bad days but I’m now more conscious of the influence I have on people regardless of my personal history with them.
May the Lord open our eyes to see how we can change the way we utilize our time.
In what ways can redeeming the way we spend our time also redeem our relationships?