How do you spend what you have?

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How do you spend the majority of your time?

Before you answer that, let’s look at the question a little closer. How do you SPEND? When money is spent, it’s gone. When time is spent, it’s gone. When we say our energy is “spent,” we mean it’s gone.

We spend our time.

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What do we spend it on?

Have I spent my money wisely lately? I’ve paid bills as early as possible. I’ve given money to help other individuals and organizations. But I’ve “wasted” money, too. I didn’t really need that soft drink or that book I ordered. I could have done without the drink and the book could have waited.

Was that money wasted? Maybe not, but maybe not invested the best.

Back to time. We use a lot of words to refer to increments of time. Recently, had an article on the origins of certain time-related phrases, and their meanings.

Did you know “in a jiffy” is a measurable unit? In physics, a jiffy is how long it takes for light to travel one femtometer — a millionth of a millionth of a millimeter. In electrical engineering, a jiffy is the length of a single cycle of alternating current that equals 17 milliseconds. In computer science, it’s variable — anywhere from one to 10 milliseconds.  Regardless, a “jiffy” is very, very short.

Never, ever have I said I’d be somewhere in a jiffy and actually made it. It’s too quick. But I have been delayed by eating a spoonful of Jif peanut butter. Does that count?

Here’s one more — “in a few shakes.” In physics, a shake is one step of a nuclear chain reaction, equaling 10 nanoseconds (10 billionths of a second). It’s impossible for a human to do anything in a jiffy or a shake.

Regardless of how we measure our time — in seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc. — we spend it.

I have a friend who thinks sleep is an absolute waste of time. Why be still and unconscious when he can be getting something done? The man has been known to work in his yard with a headlamp on while it’s still dark outside because … well, because he can. He once told me he slept most nights from about 11 p.m. until 4 a.m., and that was “too long.” I know other people who apparently think that’s too long to be awake.

Whether you spend your time working at a job, doing things at home, helping others, relaxing, et cetera, are you making good use of the time you have?

I have a limited amount of money. I already know where 80 percent of my next paycheck is going.

I have a limited amount of time. I already know where some of it is going. I have my regular work schedule this week, and work, church and personal activities scheduled most evenings. It’s going to be a busy week.

I have to ask myself if each of those activities is worth the investment of my time.

I need to work. I want to hang out with a friend. I want to be involved in Bible study and fellowship with other believers. I’m choosing to be a part of each of those activities. I’m choosing how I spend my time.

But what is most important, really?

For me, family trumps almost everything. At the end of the day, my family is more important to me than pretty much anything else. Only one thing is higher — I want to be a good follower of Jesus.

If I want to make the best use of my time, and my highest goal is to be like Christ, then I need to be focused on what He wants me to do. That includes studying the Bible, telling others about salvation, etc. If I neglect those things, then I’ve not made the best use of my time.

What’s the best use of your time? How do you understand that for yourself? Are you making the right choices on how you spend it?

My hope and prayer for you and for me this week is that we’ll spend what we have wisely.

Brett Campbell can be reached at