“I’m sorry; I would love to, but I just don’t have the time.”
“Could we do this later? I’m a bit busy right now.”
How often do we hear these types of statements? How many times have we said these things to others?
“Busy-ness” seems to be the universal condition of people today. It does not matter how old you are, what gender you are, where you work, what you like or dislike, or any other condition– we are all busy! This seems quite ironic, considering the promise of modern technology that our lives would be simpler and easier.
In reality, we do have more time than our forefathers– we have just found other ways in which we occupy that time. Time that used to be spent in various chores and duties is often spent in front of the television or engaging in some other form of entertainment. Such things, in and of themselves, are not wrong. Being busy, in and of itself, is not wrong. A question confronts us: with what are we busy? How are we spending our time? How should we spend our time?
Being busy seems to be par for the course for the modern American. Nevertheless, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. We must understand that if we say that we are “too busy” for things, it really means that we have made other priorities.
God has much to say about where we should be placing our time and priorities. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus addresses the reality that most people spend much of their time either concerned about or working toward life’s necessities. It is not as if Jesus does not expect people to work (cf. 1 Timothy 5:8), but He establishes in Matthew 6:33 that we ought to put the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, “and all these things shall be added unto you”.
Putting God and His Kingdom first in our lives can often be difficult, but it is necessary if we are going to properly serve God and to provide a godly example to others (cf. Matthew 5:13-16). In Matthew 13:7, 22, Jesus speaks of the “thorny soil”: they represent people who hear the Word of God and believe in Jesus, but who are quite concerned about earthly matters, and these concerns choke out the implanted Word, and they fall away. How many have fallen prey to this condition? How many spend their time concerned about that which perishes, with little concern for that which is eternal (cf. 2 Peter 3:11-12)?
Where are our priorities? If we are “too busy” to be active in God’s work, “too busy” to assemble with the saints, or “too busy” to put God first in our lives, why should we be surprised when our spiritual lives are sagging, our families are not spiritual, and our influence for good on others is negligible? If we are going to be God’s good soil, His obedient servants reserved for salvation, it is because we have put Him first. Let us never be “too busy” for God!