October/November 2017 - Vol. 94
Divine Time Management book cover

A New Book to Help Christians Put God at the Center of Time Management

Introduction: Most time management is about getting control by putting our plans first and our plans at the center. Elizabeth Grace Saunders in her new book, Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting God's Loving Plans for You, turns the order upside down. She demonstrates how to recognize wrong approaches to time management and how God wants us to learn to surrender control of our plans by putting God first and aligning our plans with his loving plan for us. She challenges us to think of time management in terms of our identity and relationship with God, and how we align with God’s purposes for us.

This book is an excellent introduction for Christians who want to grow in stewarding their time well and purposefully for daily life, work and mission.

The following brief excerpt is from Chapter One.

- Don Schwager, editor

Embracing a God-Centered Approach to Time Management
by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

For those of you reading this book who are Christian, or at least curious about a Christian perspective, I want to share what I believe God has revealed to me about His goals for time management…

In Matthew 22: 36–40, Jesus gives instruction on which commandments should be our focus:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus is the expert on how to live a life aligned with God, so His explanation of where to focus must be great advice. But if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering, “So what does this mean that I actually have to do?”

I’m sure millions of people have talked about the practical application of these verses, so I don’t claim to have the exhaustive answer to that question. However, after spending a couple of years conversing with God on the topic, I came to the conclusion that there are three goals for time management that will best allow you to fulfill God’s two greatest commandments, to love God and your neighbor and to live out His best for you. We’ll fully unpack these in each of the three sections of this book. But in this chapter, we’ll do a quick overview of what I believe are the three right goals for divine time management:
•    Trust in God at the center
•    Love for your true identity
•    Alignment with God
We don’t need to live in a self-reliant universe where we stress about doing everything right, and then pray to ask God to bless our plans. As children of the Most High God, we have the right to live in a God-Centered universe. We can banish fear-based control. We can focus on love and alignment. And we can be free to choose God’s best.

It’s time to stop living below the line of our privilege.

Right Aim: Trust in God at the Center

There is a time and a place for building self-discipline, for wise decisions, and for effective tactics. But all of these things should not be about us ensuring that our needs and wants are met through our own efforts. Instead, all of these strategies should free up our time so that we have enough space in our lives to love God, hear His voice, and stay connected with Him. Then from that place of greater intimacy with God, we can know what He wants us to do and how to do it. We can also receive all of the blessings God has for us.

Focusing on trusting God with all of our time and time management decisions opens up space for prayer and for rest. When we genuinely seek His will, God typically asks us to do less than we think we need to do and to rely on Him more. This moves us from a place of pride around how great we are at managing our time, and from fear when something doesn’t go as it “should” to a place of humble confidence in God that everything is working out for the best. And trust in God frees us up to love people enough to let go — Sometimes meaning letting go of our schedules to be with them, and sometimes meaning letting go of a compulsion to help others that isn’t from the Lord.

Putting trust in God at the center of your time management allows you to enter into God’s best…

Right Aim: Alignment with God

Putting trust in God at the center of your time management while knowing, loving, and living out your true identity will naturally put you in a better position to invest your time well. From this position of strength, you have the ability to choose to stay in alignment with God. Alignment means being in the Lord’s will on a big-picture level and walking in faithful obedience to what you believe God wants you to do on a day‑by‑day basis.

Desire for alignment with God was one of the most important qualities of the great men and women of the Bible from Abraham to David to Esther to the disciples. I believe it is an essential goal of divine time management.

> See previous articles by Elizabeth Grace Saunders in Living Bulwark

This excerpt is from Divine Time Management, (c) 2017 by Elizabeth Grace Saunders. Reprinted with permission of FaithWords, New York, NY.  All rights reserved. 

For more information check out Elizabeth Saunder's book page Divine Time Management Book
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