December 6, 2006, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Leadership

By Walt Alexander

The past few weeks we have briefly studied self-control. We talked first of where we lacked self-control, where we were being controlled by our passions. Then, we talked last week about self-control with our relationship with God, mainly on how to deny ourselves in order to enjoy God. Finally,  in light of Mike’s provoking message from Psalm 90 last week, I wanted offer a insights on time management. Much of time management is self-control. It is making decisions based on priorities, not upon our oceanic feelings (like, “Do I feel like reading for class today?”) or upon the millions of unurgent demands (like, “Should I go ahead and take six precious hours of time to organize my sock drawer or should I read a worthwhile book?”).

That said, our context is Christmas break. In a few short days or a week, you will be out of class for about a month. This time can either be well spent or can fade into the abyss of nothingness (like most of my breaks were/are). So, how can we redeem this break? How can be productive?

Here are a few thoughts:

Remember the days are evil. They are evil because they past so quickly. Like grass, though fresh in the morning, we fade with the evening. Our time here is limited. Therefore, let us strive to count every day as an opportunity to glorify God.  This is our wisdom, to number our days (Ps. 90:14, Eph. 5:15-16). Remember that this break will be wasted day by day if you don’t stop it!

Read, Read, Read. Spend much time reading and communing with God. Have a plan to read and study a particular book of the Bible over the break (like Phillipians, Ephesians, James or something). Regards of the book, plan a book to read. And read it! “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). If you aside time to meet with God, he will meet with you.

Also, take home a book to read over the break. Take a book that will fuel your passion for God and for the gospel. Try The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges, or Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, or The Enemy Within by Kris Lunguard, or The Pleasures of God by John Piper, or Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris or Living The Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney. These books have greatly challenged me and provoked me over the years.

Expect temptation to meet you at home. Though you may have had an incredible semester enjoying the gospel and enjoying rich fellowhsip with God, your old temptations are waiting at home for you. In fact, they are happy because you probably don’t even think they exist anymore. This is a monumental mistake. They still exist and still have massive power. In fact, Peter reminds us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pt. 5:8).

So, flee temptation. If you struggled with certain sin patterns when you were in high school, avoid those situations completely. Get accountability. Find two or three friends before you leave and ask them to keep you accountable. Have them each call you several times a week (or a day) to check up. This is not weakness. This is true strength – humility exhibited in opening up oneself to others and begging for the help of others.

Pursue servanthood. Serve at home. Do not go home waiting to be serve. Find something that needs to be done and do it! Serve your mother. Take down the Christmas tree, make wassel, cook breakfast for the family, serve your dad coffee in bed, get the paper for the family, go to the grocery store, clean the house, etc. This is a privilege! You get to serve your family with joy and gratefulness for how they serve!

Pursue fellowship. If your siblings and/or parents are Christians, initiate biblical fellowship with them. Or if they aren’t, find a friend to fellowship with. Ask them what they are reading? Ask them about their prayer life? Ask them about their goals in their walk with God?


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

great message Walt! Thanks for the key points and encouragement.

Comment by mini mike

To be honest, I was planning on wasting my break by sleeping, eating, and playing with presents. This message really challenged me. Thanks Walt. Now I just need to learn how to cook breakfast. Will cereal do?

Comment by Chris Melander

Thank you so much for your honesty and insight.

I wish I had read this post 1 week ago.

The devil does prowl around. But The Truth is such an awesome weapon from such a Mighty God.

Thanks again.

Comment by Bekah

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