Moments without measure: God’s ways are not oursTime is money. Few business expressions have more universal agreement when it comes to connecting two elements critical to every organization. Delayed response to customer concerns can cost a company money and relationships while the first to market with a valued product or service wins increased revenues. Time wisely invested in research and development today can turn into gold down the road. Shrewd negotiators understand there’s more to an agreement than just price; they know the value of gaining the most favorable payment terms when they buy or sell.
Then there’s the business of eternity. Time and money in spiritual terms also carry importance and in fundamentally different ways.
In the relationship between God and His children, often referred to as Master and servant, the instant a command becomes clear to us creates the moment of opportunity.
We can obey promptly or we can stop, question, argue, ask for opinions, consider alternatives or recommend a better way. Obeying God promptly may hold little if any instant gratification for us, while taking matters into our own hands often provides some short-term satisfaction.
It’s this payoff in earthly terms, the illusion of the control that we believe we wield in business matters, that gets us into trouble over the long haul.
When we receive orders from God’s headquarters, there’s one correct response: “Yes, Lord, right away, Lord,” followed by the action itself. Any other response betrays a lack of faith or hope or love or all of the above.
Of course the easiest way to avoid the entire sticky situation is to stop asking for divine guidance and discontinue listening, watching and waiting on God. Many will conduct their entire lives in a mostly casual relationship with the Creator, separating business decisions from their faith.
In the moment
Consider God’s concept of time and money before you make decisions at work. Keep these thoughts in mind:
God believes both time and money are important, though in different ways than us.
“My ways are not your ways,” God says through the prophet Isaiah. We measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. A moment in time with God freezes the earthly clock, defying measurement. In an instant God can change the course of a life or a business with a physical or spiritual healing, a change of heart, even a single sale to just the right client or customer.
Although we fancy ourselves as long-suffering in our measurement of the time required for God to see things our way and grant our requests, it takes God no time to do whatever He chooses. We might think it took God 23 years to fulfill our request, while in hindsight it happened at the perfect time and in the perfect way. His time comes indeed as moments without measure.
Money provides the vehicle by which we show how closely our hearts are aligned with God’s heart. When we send the first 10 percent or more to God, there will be enough to meet our obligations despite the fact that our math tells us such outcomes are impossible.
God needs neither our money nor our time. He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants without our help. What He wants are our hearts. Our use of time and money are key indicators of exactly where our hearts are. Jesus affirms this in Matthew’s Gospel when He says, “Where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”
As you make decisions in your work regarding time and money, make the habit of asking first for God’s guidance and will in the use of these two precious resources. When you use them as God directs, you move from being part of the problem to acting on His behalf as part of the solution.
John Earl Carroll is an author and consultant based in Mount Pleasant. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.