Controlled And Uncontrolled Timing

J. D. Conley
February 26, 2017

Timing, i.e., the sequence of events, and how and when they unfold, is not always under our control. The oddity of timing was once again realized during my recent visit with my father. After spending two days in his home, we departed on a Thursday and he fell and injured his neck that next Sunday morning. The timing of his fall sparked questions, e.g., "If we had been there to aid him, would he have fallen?" "If a fall was inevitable, why didn't it occur while we were there, so we could render assistance?" But due to the timing, his wife was left alone to deal with the consequences. Thus the time of the fall was something beyond our control.

However, when it comes to how we choose to use our time, by in large that is something that is under our control. In fact, God's Word commands we use our time wisely. Paul urges, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time" (Col.4:5). Likewise he informed the Ephesians, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil"(Eph.5:15-16). While it is true that the circumstances of life are sometimes out of our control, a lot of life/time, is under our reign, otherwise these passages just cited have no meaning.

There are times when after we have chosen to use our time wisely, the timing in doing so has paid great dividends. Only heaven knows how many souls have been saved because a Christian said the right thing at the right time. How many wayward brethren have returned to the fold because a concerned brother or sister showed interest in their soul? While it is true many want to be left alone when it comes to their spiritual restoration, it's up to the faithful few to disturb them and plead with them to return, (Gal.6:1; 2Tim.4:10; Jude 23; Lk.15:4-7). Our time should be prioritized in seeking and saving the lost, remembering we've been commissioned by our Lord, to "preach the gospel to every creature," (Mk. 16:15).

While Christians can't control the decisions of the people they teach, Christians can and must make the decision to teach. Therefore, let us exercise control over our time teaching the lost, (Isa.55:11; 1Cor.3:6-9).