Today Pastor Choi urges the congregation to beware of sure-fire time wasters. They are: 1) be unforgiving, 2) keep comparing, 3) be doubtful, 4) keep grumbling, and 5) keep worrying. By doing so, he warns the audience, they can waste their time — every minute of it! At the end of the sermon, he exhorts the congregation to forgive, stop comparing, have faith in God, stop grumbling, and pray more this year to have a productive year.
Here’s a summary of his sermon:
Title: Sure-Fire Time Wasters!
Text: Ephesians 5:15-17
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
In January, everyone seems determined to keep their new year’s resolutions going strong. For instance, for a healthy year, some want to get into daily exercise (walking, jogging, yoga, Pilates, jazzercise…) and to eat more nutritious foods. Others start the New Year with godly resolutions such as attending services more often this year, daily prayer, and reading the Bible more often. Many more want to make every moment count this year, that is, to spend the time wisely, productively, and efficiently.
Well, speaking of managing our time, just for some tongue-in-cheek fun (I got this idea from Rev. Chuck Swindoll’s message about three years ago), this morning I am going to present to you a series of suggestions of time wasters—sure-fire time wasters! If you follow the five suggestions that I am about to make, I can guarantee that you will make no progress this year and find yourself wasting your time —big time and every minute of it!
First, be unforgiving: Lengthen the list of your enemies this year. Have a goal to double it up. Hold your grudge against your enemies as long as you can. Don’t even try to forgive those who made it on the list this year. If necessary, never forgive them at all, saying that it is 100% their fault and not yours. Say that there’s nothing you can do about it. Dump your hurts on family and friends. Harbor your anger and resentment day in day out. Nurse your grievances against your enemies throughout the year forgetting what it actually does to you, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Next, keep comparing: Compare yourself with others always. Be dazzled with your life’s successes while you pity those who have failed or not so good as you are. Take every opportunity to toot your own horn before others. If you are an underachiever in life, please be sure to throw a pity-party, dwelling on negative thoughts about yourself all the time. As a matter of fact, it will do the trick for you for many years to come. If you are really into physical beauty stuff and envy the youth, count the wrinkles on your face and hands everyday, but be sure to have the Valium ready.
Thirdly, doubt: Make doubt your number one priority and the dearest ally this year. Put the Doubting Thomas to shame. Doubt everything. Always doubt that God loves you. Doubt more that He is with you. Doubt that He is going to see you through this year. Question God’s credentials. Question more His faithfulness. Never trust that He takes care of your daily needs. Doubt most that He is a personal God who understands your daily challenges and provides the way out from your struggles.
Fourthly, grumble: Complain all the time that everything goes wrong against your plans. Grumble that God’s provision is never enough for you and your family. Always ask for more even beyond what you need. Demand that you want them right now. Be an Ebenezer Scrooge this year. Never share God’s blessings with others. Be a mean person. Be the champion of the game. Take everything for granted. Never miss the opportunity to let everyone else know your absolute entitlement. Never take time to count the blessings from God. Never share the credit with anyone else let alone with God. Rather, take all the credit to yourself for your prosperity. Never thank those to whom you owe your success.
Finally, worry: Worry a lot: day and night. Make a goal to be on the Guinness World Record as the number one Worrier. Worries are contagious, so spread your worries to anyone and everyone that this year is going to be a disastrous year for all and for the global economy. Keep on worrying about what to wear and what to eat everyday. Lose your sleep by worrying that tomorrow is going to be the end of the world. Spend everyday twice longer than usual looking at the numbers of Wall Street. Have your mood swing with those fluctuating numbers in economy.
There you have it: five proven and sure-fire time wasters! Put them into practice and the year 2014 would be the year of wasting your time.
But, on the other hand, who really wants to do that? No one.
So, let’s get serious. My real message this morning is: Beware of those time-wasters!
Here’s what I really want to say:
- Forgive as if you have only one day to live. Forgive your enemies. Bless and pray for every one of them. Don’t prolong your forgiveness. Remember what Jesus said: your sins won’t be forgiven until you forgive others’ trespasses first.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. Rather, be thankful and content with the way God created you. Remember, your body is God’s Temple where the Spirit of God dwells. You’re no longer your own. You are bought by a price, that is, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Now, you are God’s. You’re not the owner of your life. Rather, you are the steward of God’s property. Therefore, take good care of yourself, your soul and body, and glorify God with your life.
- Have faith in God. He is with you all the time. He will see you through no matter what happens to Wall Street. Trust God rather than numbers in your checkbook. He will provide your daily needs.
- Stop grumbling. Be thankful for what you have and content with what God has provided you. Share your blessings with others more often. Give more.
- Pray more and worry less. You can’t change a thing by worrying. Prayer works.
Make 2014 the most productive year of all, because God doesn’t want you to waste your time!
Let us pray.