Tough Topics for Teens: The Time You Spend

Your Biography: Then or now?

The biography of your life is a work in progress. Look at the chapters already written. You have a chapter called “The Turning Point.” Paul reminded the Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians of our “time past.” That is, that unforgettable turning point dividing your life into the before and after, the then and now. The bad news is, you cannot change one word already written. The good news is, “The Turning Point” will never be edited or changed. That precious chapter of your salvation will remain as the highlight of your biography forever.

But, do the chapters since tell a story of a different life? Do they carry on the story of the “now” that is not like the “then”? Peter said, “Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Peter 1:17). That is, keep cruising in the “now,” making the present different from the past.

Don’t let the past haunt you or hinder you. Paul said we should live, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13). Perhaps you were hurt; perhaps you hurt others. Maybe others failed you; maybe you failed others. Anger and resentment towards others or embarrassment and frustration with yourself need not characterize the chapters that remain. God has done a marvelous work in saving your soul; now let Him save your life.

Your Time Clock: His or Yours?

If you hold a job, at some point each day you “clock in.” If while you are “on the clock,” you decide to relax and read a book, your boss is going to say, “Hey, don’t you know you’re on my time?”

When you get saved, you “clock in” and from then on, you live on God’s time. “His time” is not just when you read the Bible, pray, or go to meetings. In truth, it’s all His!

God reminds us, “Ye are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). The Lord Jesus did not buy your Sundays or your “spiritual time.” He bought the complete package of your body, soul, and spirit and He has the legal ownership to every minute that remains of your “time of sojourning.”

But what about your “free time?” Occupied or unoccupied, in school or in meeting, alone or with others, you are His. That means He should decide what you do with your time. Peter wrote that a believer, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, “no longer should live the rest of His time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2). Therefore, the great question for you should be, “What does He want me to do today, tomorrow, and beyond?

So, are you misusing the clock? How do you view your teenager years? Are they for you or for Him?

Your Day Planner: First or Last?

Even though Christ has claimed your life, He lets you fill in the day planner. You get to plan your goals for your day, your week, your month, or your life. It is necessary and good to make long-term and short-term plans. There is no virtue in a disorganized or unplanned existence. The Lord Jesus knew exactly what He was supposed to be doing every minute of every day and He often spoke of His plans for the future.

But are you going to write in what you want or what He wants? For example, your God wants to have communication with you each day. Do you want that? If you do, then you will block out time for reading and praying and jealously guard it for Him. Jesus said, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father” (Matthew 6:6). This is not something that will happen naturally. Fill those lines in first, and then fit everything else around them.

The same is true with meetings of the assembly. The Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25). Going to meetings is essential, but not natural. It isn’t magic. Joyously anticipate these times of meeting with the Lord until it has become a habit to be at all the assembly meetings. So begin every day and every week with what He wants. Write it in pen in your planner so it cannot be erased.

Yes, you must also eat, sleep, and go to school according to God’s plan. Your “free time” is when you have nothing scheduled. By “free,” God means, you are free to use that time to do something fully within His will.

Paul also said that in your time management, you should “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). It’s as if time is on sale and the price is right. Buy it up so it doesn’t go to waste. Especially, look for opportunities to win unsaved people and to honor His name.

Your Alarm Clock: Now or Never

You may be young, but you have no idea how many pages are left on the calendar of your life. Death or the Lord Jesus could come at any time. So, right now, while you are young, God’s alarm clock is ringing. Don’t hit the snooze or hurl it against the wall. The Bible says, “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).

God gives you 1440 minutes in each day. If they were dollars, how would you spend them? Soon, you will stand before the Lord. What would you like to be able to say then about how you have used your teenage years? Don’t live with the regret, “I wish I had given Him more.”

Now is the time to make the choice and face the challenge. May God help you as a teenager to develop good habits with “The Time You Spend.”