The other day I saw a Babylon Bee article that gave me a laugh, but also made me wince—“Historians Now Believe American Revolution Never Would Have Occurred if Colonists Had Netflix.” Ouch! Sometimes satire hits just a little too close to home, doesn’t it?
The point I took from the article is this: how many of us are being lulled to sleep by the constant options for mindless entertainment that surround us? The Babylon Bee may have been referring to the possibilities of government overreach, but the same could apply to spiritual things.
Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” This same sentiment is echoed in the New Testament in Ephesians 5. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16) The King James Version that I grew up on translates this verse as “redeeming” the time.
How are you spending your time during quarantine? Have you spent countless hours bingeing on Netflix, YouTube, Tik Tok, and the like? I know I have spent much more time on these things than I would care to admit to you. The temptation to indulge oneself in hours of mindless leisure is powerful, especially in this unique time of staying at home. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that the spiritual benefit of these things is basically nonexistent. But with nothing on our calendars and nothing being required of us, what should we be doing while stuck at home? What does redeeming the time look like? In this article, I hope to share a few tips with you for finding ways to use your time wisely.
I’ll start with the obvious answer: read your Bible. In a way, the Bible is like Netflix. No matter how much time you spend on it, it will always offer you more! We will never fully plumb the depths of the ancient wisdom held within the Scriptures. But if you really want to dig into the Word, don’t just read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Pray it. There has never been a better time in history to spend as much time as possible in the Word—don’t fail to take advantage of this fact!
Secondly, I challenge you to pray more. This is an excellent time to become a more seasoned and disciplined prayer warrior. After all, God’s Word tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17) As with anything else, prayer takes practice. And with all this extra time on our hands, we no longer have an excuse.
Third, read spiritual books. Books offer the wonderful opportunity to learn from Christians more mature than yourself, both living and dead. We have access to the wisdom of writers such as C. S. Lewis, Spurgeon, St. Augustine, Tozer, Elisabeth Elliot…and the list goes on and on! In addition to Christian-themed books, read biographies of great Christian figures such as Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, Lottie Moon, William Carey, etc. I can guarantee that you will be inspired by these great men and women of the faith.
Speaking of spiritual books, I am currently reading “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. Whitney, and I cannot recommend it highly enough to you. It has strongly convicted and challenged me in my walk with God, and I believe every Christian should read it.
In addition to these spiritual things, do the things that are always in the back of your mind that you make excuses to avoid. Those things you know that if you did, would make your life better. For me, most often that thing is practicing music. For you, it may be a home improvement project, cleaning out your closet, or exercising. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” What a convicting verse. Keep it in mind the next time you want to put off something important.
Finally, use this time to contact family members and friends, particularly those that are elderly and/or live alone. Many who were already isolated and lonely are feeling more alone than ever before. A text or, better yet, a phone call that costs you nothing has the power to make someone else’s day. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the ones you love.
In this most unusual time, I know motivation can be difficult to come by. However, I’d urge you not to wait for motivation to do the right things. Pray, ask the Lord for His help, and just do it. Whenever life finally gets back to normal, I hope you don’t look back on this time and think, “Look at all the time I wasted.” Rather, I pray that you will be able to reflect on how God redeemed this time of quarantine for your good and His glory.