Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #104 --- Time

Quotations on Time (Time-Management)

When we say, "I can't find time," we betray a real illusion. Time is not a commodity that is found in large chunks to supply our lack of it. Each day awaits us as if we were going into a supermarket with 24 pieces of money. The displays present innumerable choices, but only a certain amount can be taken.

Our investment of money or time indicates our sense of values. Somehow we always find time to do what we really want to do. Wanting to do it is the problem.

The expression, "Take your time," or its opposite, "Don't lose any time," also reflects attitude. This generation has a complex regarding speed and hurry. Grandfather waited patiently for a month if he missed the stage coach, but we fret if we miss one section of a revolving door!

Quick efficiency is usually commendable, but pauses in the day--as in a musical score--give meaning to life. Instead of taking a stop watch into our prayer chamber, we should sing that old hymn, "Take time to be holy, The world rushes on; Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone."

Following that advice, we learn that Christ's secret of successful living was to take each day as an investment for God. In such a frame of mind, it is possible to move through any day as He did--with untiring labor and unruffled calm.

In such an attitude of work and rest, we will have time to improve ourselves and to help others, all while praying, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalms 90:12.)

—John F. Anderson, Jr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 26, 1955.


Time is the greatest value in life, and the prodigal of time is he who squanders life.

The way you use your spare moments will have a telling effect upon your life and character.

Time is more than money. We should not be stingy with it, but we should not throw away an hour any more than we would throw away a dollar bill. Waste of time means a waste of energy, waste of life, waste of character in dissipation. It means the waste of opportunities which will never come back.

—William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 16, 1923.


Life is just like a quilt. A quilt is made up of blocks carefully stitched together. One block of a quilt that doesn't fit in or is not in harmony with the rest of them can spoil its whole appearance--or if part is missing, that makes it worse! Likewise with our life, each day is a block in the quilt of life. Now well we use those days and hours are the way we stitch it together. We have just a very short time on the earth, and so we must make the most of our opportunities and live the best we can. By wasting time we are missing a few stitches here and there, which makes the quilt susceptible to easily falling apart with the wear of time. In order to have our life be a life of eternal joy, we must put it together wisely--we are the ones that have control over what we do.

—Georgia Christensen, The Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 1958.


To waste time is to waste money, energy, opportunity, life. We have all the time there is and for this time that God has entrusted to us, we shall answer as stewards of His, for the use or misuse of it. When we face God to answer for that kindly deed we might have done, for that good seed we might have shown, ... we will answer for the time that was misspent somewhere else; for the time that ought to have been used for the honor of God and for the good of the world and for our own betterment. It is not a question of how long we live, but how well we use the time God gives us.

—M.E. Dodd, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Nov. 28, 1927.


During a reflective review of things past and present and contemplative considerations of this new year, I remembered a special snow storm when I was very young. As I recall it was a heavy wet snow, and all afternoon I had an exciting time playing in it with my cousins and the neighborhood gang. It was such an exciting afternoon in fact that I began to think of ways in which the conditions could be preserved. All of the activities had been rewarding, but my hands were very cold. This discomfort prompted me to consider how much more enjoyable it would be if we were able to play with the snow during the summer. And the only way I could imagine keeping the white stuff around until then was to bury some of it for future use. Thereupon I found a shovel and proceeded to dig a hole in the rich, unfrozen soil near the garden and fill it with the material responsible for our merriment.

A futile childish act. Nevertheless is it any more irrational than the extremes we as adults sometimes pursue in vain attempt to perpetuate our pleasures?

As I assess at this season my blessings and our blessings as a people, I am awed by the magnitude of our prosperity [and] the time available to us after the standard work-week to freely engage in activities outside those motivated by the needs of life's necessities. The trend is toward more free time, shorter work hours or grouping the work assignments in order for the leisure time to be expanded. We even change the holidays to lengthen the weekends.

All this free time is a product of this prosperity. There are those who spend it in a reckless wandering after fun. They work hard–in their ever increasing craving for pleasure--to alter what is natural to something unnatural. All this free time becomes boring to those unable to motivate themselves. Heresies in their religious faith, folly in their counsel, infidelity in their marriage and inconsistency in their friendship are a result of this boredom.

Despair, rejection, defeat and drabness all makes people susceptible to temptation. Prosperity and the inability to manage one's free time will provide the same opportunities.

Perhaps the reason for some of our social ills is because we have not yet learned how to adapt to making our own decisions during the hours outside the discipline of our employment. In the childish use or abuse of this blessing of extra time we "plant snow" and never think seriously enough to ask ourselves, "What is my strength, that I should hope? And what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is not my help in me.?" (Job 6:11, 13.)

—Ted L. Hanks, Spanish Fork Press, Spanish Fork, Utah, Jan. 12, 1977.


"See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16.)

Fools have eyes and they see, but they do not learn. The wonderful things of God's world mean little to them. The men who are engaged in the piling up of worldly wealth with no aim for the use of it, the seekers after high places for no other purpose than the selfish gratification, the pusher for business whose only desire is to get business and the men who when they have attained the paltry little that material wealth can give are disposed to feel that they have done the most they can, these are to be classed among the fools. The sinner is a fool. Sin means merely missing the mark.


He is the wise man who makes use of every means that God has given to bring good of every condition, good to himself and to his fellows. He is the man who strives by a righteous use of all the opportunities to accomplish great things for God. To him his failures and mistakes are merely lessons that fit him to use his later time and by using it to redeem it. Redeeming is merely the buying back. If he has squandered his early days, if he has failed at times, so much the greater his aim and his effort by uprightness to redeem it. None but the Christian can make his misfortunes his stepping stones to higher things.

Memory brings up the lessons of failure, not to reproach, but to prevent recurrence. Time is a thing too precious to be ruthlessly squandered. If the past has not been used to the full extent that God would have been pleased to see and approve, let [this] be the time for progress, for consecration and for loving kindness. Wisely redeem the time that is gone.

—J.W. Hill, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 6, 1908.


Time is wealth. Not only is time wealth, but it is the most democratic form of wealth. The poorest man in the country has sixty seconds in every minute, sixty minutes in every hour, twenty-four hours in every day--and the richest man in the country has exactly no less and exactly no more.

Beyond what we like to admit, we have the say-so as to how we shall use our time. Perhaps we can't all say where we shall use it. But there is not a one of us who, if he uses time to the best possible advantage, cannot profit from it in some way. ... The finest thing about the future is that it is always clean. The pages of the past are blotted and torn, defaced by the mistakes of us all. But the future is as fair as hope, as clean as the fresh-washed rainbow, as whole as the dawn.

Speaking of sermons, there's one. The future is the door to the gospel of the second chance.

If there were no next time, this would be an intolerable world. Hell, if you want to picture one, is simply any world in which the next time has been forever cut off.

How shall be spend the future? For profit, to be sure. That means investment, does it not? Certainly it dies–the risk of the present for gains to come is investment. Self-denial is one element, intelligent risk is another, consistent use a third.

Above all, we must realize that the present is the front end of the future--the only handle by which we can grasp and shape our fortune. Many a man has sat out his future because he forgot that.

Choosing now a goal to be reached hereafter, to that end forsaking every conflicting activity and attitude, risking your full, best effort to go where you want to go, and wanting with a zest that makes every labor and every lack as naught compared to the prize of the high calling--this is the high road of life. And few there be that find it.

—Lynn W. Landrum, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 13, 1940.


Time is the thing of which life is made. It is therefore the most valuable thing with which human beings deal in this world. Wasting time is wasting life, and therefore every person who wants to make the most of life should earnestly save time.

The best way to save time is to get intensely in earnest to accomplish some worthy thing. ... Idlers, lazy people, and ease lovers let the precious hours and days slip by until the years are gone.

The best way to save time is to analyze and set each part of the day to the doing of a definite thing. As soon as one thing is done take up another. Persist in this course until the day or period is finished. No man can save time effectively unless he analyzes it. The fact is that the analytical mind is the only kind that is worth very much anyway.

—F.M. McConnell, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 7, 1943.


If I had my life to live over again, I believe I could, with the experience I have gained, do a great deal more in a less number of hours. I would not rush through life as I have done; I would exercise my brains more and my muscles less–in certain directions at any rate.

I have lost much of the sweets of life by being always in a hurry. There is nothing so utterly foolish as hurrying. ...

Karl G. Maesar used to tell us to “make haste slowly.” We have not learned yet the full meaning of these words. The Lord has not sent us upon the earth to kill ourselves. He does not want us to go through life in a hound and hare fashion. He desires us to get the best out of life, and no one can do this in a hurry.

Hurrying has a tendency to make us cross and ill-tempered. I knew a man who when he was a boy was esteemed for his kind and loving disposition, but when he became a man, and got swallowed up in business, he became cross and even unkind, and lost many friends who had admired him in his youth.

My advice, young people, is, take your time. Whatever you do, do it well. Don’t rush through life, you will reach the grave soon enough.

—William A. Morton, Zion’s Young People, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 1901.


Successful living depends upon an adequate reserve of character sufficient for losses that life brings and potentially powerful enough to capture feeling opportunity. Opportunity comes suddenly at unexpected hours and one cannot borrow that which he needs most. Credits are usually exhausted by the foolish hours of waiting. The army that enters battle without reserves is defeated after the first skirmish.

Be ready both in preparation to make a living and a life. Let not your own foolishness shut the door in your own face. Men are penalized today for yesterday's neglect, and penalized tomorrow for the failures of today. It cannot be escaped. The ranks of a marching humanity do not remain open for us while we go back after the hours we lost yesterday.

—Paul G. Preston, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 30, 1932.


There can be no proper estimate of life without an appreciation of the value of the present. visions and dreams are all right and should have a place in all our hearts. No man has ever amounted to much in this world who was not a dreamer. We must look to the future with fond anticipations and hopes. There must be in our hearts aspiration, we must have an ideal. But these must not be allowed to crowd out the activities of the present. In stern reality the living present only is ours, and the fleeting moments of now must not be allowed to go unused. If you would reach the goal of your ideal in the future, if you would realize your fondest aspirations in life, it must be done by a proper use of every minute of the present. If, in the future, you would look back over the past with satisfaction and joy, you must learn now the value of every moment and allow no time to fall to the ground unused. "Redeeming the time" is a most appropriate injunction to any life that would be successful and useful. (See Ephesians 5:16.) It means literally, "Buying up for yourselves the opportunities of the present." You can never expect to achieve much in life or to be of much service in the world unless you have a keen sense of the present. ... Let every opportunity be grasped with an overwhelming sense of the overshadowing importance of the present.

Again, a proper estimate of life in its relation to the present requires an appreciation of the value of special opportunities. While all time is valuable yet all time is not of equal value. There are some moments more precious than others. Like brilliant diamonds in an array of less costly gems, they sparkle and attract. No time should be squandered, no opportunity should be slighted. But by all means times of special emergency opportunities of unusual importance must be seized. He who would reap in the summer and fall must sow in the spring. ... There will come to you opportunities of special significance and value and they must be seized immediately.

—C.P. Roney, The Baptist Chronicle, Alexandria, La., May 30, 1912.


Time is the inexorable enemy of all error.

Time is a critic that no falsehood can escape.

Time is the valley across which great men cast their shadows.

Time is the relentless companion of destiny.

Time is always being killed and always taking revenge.

Time is never exhausted in its war on injustice.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 5, 1930.


The true use of time is the enlargement of life.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27, 1934.


Tomorrow God will give you a fresh, new, clear day--unspoiled, unspotted.

It will be a day that never belonged to anybody else.

It will be your day, to do with as you wish.

It will be the beginning of life to you--at least, you may make it so.

All your past failures may be blotted out, and your sins may be washed away--on this glad, new day.

The day will contain twenty-four hours, each hour set with sixty precious minutes. ... What are you going to do with them? ...

Think calmly and seriously at the beginning of the day of the Great Author of the Day and the Great Giver of every other good and perfect gift, trying to bring your thoughts into harmony with His.

Plan the day's work so that the first glint of the sun in the east to its fiery setting in the west every precious moment will be profitably invested, in study or work or leisure.

Take no mean advantage of another in business or social life, being content with less honor in the sight of men so that you may have more honor in the sight of God.

Do some deed of kindness to another who has no reason to expect it.

Keep your mind free from worry and anxiety of every kind that frowns and scowls and wrinkles will completely disappear, and smiles will radiate good cheer and happiness.

Hold yourself in check, if great provocation should arise, so that no rough word or deed may mar the day, to be atoned for when the clouds have disappeared.

Do better than the law demands in friendship, home and business.

To live one day with heart and mind and soul in tune with God--one day, just one--will make life richer than a thousand years lived in the realms of worldliness.

The value of your life is measured not by its length, but by its quality.

It isn't a question of how long you stay above ground, but how much you actually live before you are put into the ground.

Sometimes a single day means more to you than a full year of average life. You lived more that day than all the rest of the 364 combined.

Therefore, to say that you are 50 years old may mean very little. Somebody else, who has seen only half your number of years, may have actually lived twice as long as you .

It is probably true that most of our lives must be taken up with things that are merely routine--the same dishes to be washed, the same clothes to be mended, the same floors to be swept, the same furniture to be dusted, the same machine to be run, the same goods to be sold, the same people to be dealt with.

But these duties do not take all of our time. If they do, there's something fundamentally wrong with your system or with your job, and it should be promptly remedied.

It's what we do with the margin of time--the time that is actually our own, when the duties of the day are done--that demonstrates how much we actually live.

It is during this period that we have our best chance to change and develop the quality of our lives. It is during this period that men differ most--when their real selves are brought into the open.

You need to grow in new ways if your life is to be enriched. Yesterday's sunshine and nourishment will not be sufficient for today.

You need to take a forward step every day. The past is of value only as it helps you to take the new step. And each new step vitalizes and keeps alive all the good of the days that are gone.

"Ye did run well, who did hinder you?"

Failure does not consist in never having tried--anyone about whom this may be said isn't a "failure;" he's something worse.

Neither is the worst failure that man who honestly tried, but who fell short of the mark. He is to be praised for having at least attempted to win.

The worst failure in the world is the man who has made good in a measure, but who is lazily content to remain where he is.

It isn't what you've won, but what you might win, that determines whether you're a success or not.

"Ye did run well; who did hinder you?" (Galatians 5:7.)

The man who has the most native talent isn't always the one who will prove to be the greatest success, but the man who makes the best use of what talent he has.

—Charles Stelzle, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 13, 1921.


"Time to burn" keeps the devil's furnace going.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 1, 1905.


The man with time to burn never gave the world any light.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 1, 1905.


Killing time is throwing life away.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 12, 1905.


The man with time to waste is a bigger fool than the one with money to burn.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 25, 1906.


Killing time is soul suicide.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 8, 1907.


Killing time is crippling character.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 20, 1908.


Time is "killed" only by those spiritually dead.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 1, 1936.


A dead life is composed of unemployed time.

—Arthur Growden, The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., July 16, 1928.


Time is a treasure, and they who idle it away are losing something which no price can repurchase nor no prayer recall.

—W.W. Holmes, Lake Charles American-Press, Lake Charles, La., Dec. 2, 1922.


The man who hasn't time to serve has never learned for what time was really made.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., March 29, 1923.


Time is a peninsula extending out into the sea of eternity.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 1, 1920.

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