The Lie You’re Telling Yourself About Time

Are you living as if this lie is true? // The LIE You're Telling Yourself About TIME // jessconnell.com

Pastor Matt Chandler says, “I would contend, no one has lied to you more than you have.”

One of the biggest lies I think we tell ourselves, is, “I don’t have time for that.”

We haul this whopper out whenever we hit something that we know would be beneficial but we aren’t actually doing it. It could be any number of things:

  • Family time
  • Exercise
  • The ability to meet a particular goal
  • Reading out loud, regularly, to the kids
  • Time to call a friend
  • Time to actually get together with that friend (and not just keep saying, “oh, let’s get together.”)
  • Bible reading
  • Soul-baring prayer
  • Time to actually sit and talk and look your spouse in the eye (and really kiss and…)
  • Reading books for growth

But here’s the truth: All human beings have the same 24 hours to spend each day. A year is the same length of time for a go-getter as it is for a couch potato. It was the same length of time for prayerful, godly Puritans, as it is for us. President Obama doesn’t get more time than the rest of us, and the most lazy and unproductive person on earth doesn’t have any less than the rest of us. Until we die,we all operate with the same amount of time available to us.

And here’s another truth: We make time for what’s important to us. 

The Lie You're Telling Yourself About Time

Each day we make choices:

  • to text rather than call,
  • to pin a few pins rather than handwash the remaining dishes,
  • to sweep up the cracker mess under the high chair rather than kick up our feet,
  • to exercise rather than watch another episode 
  • to take a nap in the dark rather than read a book in the sunshine
  • to churn with worries rather than turn in prayer to God

(And I want to point out that only the last one of those sets of options has a clear right and wrong.)

Each choice we make is ours to make.

But then we need to own it. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

We need to quit lying to ourselves, as if our days and weeks are stolen out from under us without our knowledge and participation.

Want an example? “Ugh! I just haven’t had time to exercise lately.” Baloney. And I’m saying “baloney” to me on that one… here’s the honest truth: I could make time to exercise, but I don’t.

  • I don’t because I’m tired.
  • I don’t because my bottom is in the recent habit of sitting more often than staying active.
  • I don’t because I would rather watch Antiques Roadshow, or sew, or putter on the internet and write a blogpost.
  • I don’t because I had a baby a year ago and haven’t made it a priority to jumpstart my activity level since having him.
  • But the truth is *NOT* “I haven’t had time to exercise.” I have HAD the time; I have not TAKEN the time to exercise.

We also need to quit lying to each other. “I keep meaning to call you!” is a common one. But the truth is that as a society, we don’t go anywhere without our phones. What are we doing acting as if we’ve been buried in a mine collapse without access to a phone for weeks (or months)? If we want to call someone, and it’s not a good time, we can set that handy-dandy alarm feature on our fancy do-it-all phone to buzz us periodically throughout the week until it eventually buzzes at a time when we are free to do so. There are lots of options, but the truth isn’t, “I haven’t had time to call.” Almost always, the truth is, “I haven’t *made* time to call.”

My proposal?

Let’s be honest as we go through this next day, and week. It’s sometimes OK to kick your feet up rather than to exercise or wash more dishes. It’s sometimes OK to not call. But let’s all be honest about it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and honest with others, and start taking responsibility for the moments we are given.

  • So what is it you’re lying to yourself about?
  • What is it you know you aren’t currently doing, but need to make time for?
  • Will you make time for it, today?

Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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4 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    Thanks – this is a good reminder about being truthful and not accepting the ‘feel-good’ lies we tell ourselves! Thankyou!

  2. Julia Reffner says:

    Well, that getting together with a friend one is getting to me. I know I’m guilty of this for sure, I need to take the time to nurture my friendships. Thanks, great post.

  3. Kondwani says:

    This post helped me a lot. I’ve felt pressed lately. I need to remember and trust that God knows what really needs to be done, and how much time and strength we have to achieve that. I pray for wisdom – to make a sensible schedule, but to have the wisdom as to when to deviate from that schedule to respond to a person in need, an unique situation, a health issue, or something that God would rather we did that day.
    Thanks!
    Kondwani

  1. November 19, 2014

    […] you losing touch with friends and facing overwhelming […]

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