17. Private Time - Luke 5:16
Luke 5:16 - Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.
There are a lot of counselors, both Christian and secular, that promote “me time”. They will tell you that it is beneficial for you to reorganize your thoughts and preserve your sanity. I would agree that time alone can be beneficial. Many will throw in that Jesus often went off alone for some private time.
But there are a few things that I need to point out about this “me time”:
1. We can never really be alone. David wrote in Psalm 139, “Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” His questions were written as a praise to God who is always there. Since God is always with us we need to realize that “me time” is really “us time”. Even when Jesus went off to be alone he spent that time in prayer and fellowship with God.
2. We never escape reality. The reality is that we who are in Christ live in his Kingdom. God is king (Ps. 103:19) and we live, move, and breath under his authority and rules whether anyone else is around or not (Acts 17:28). Some might think that “me time” is a way to shed the rules and do whatever we want. As Christians we are happy to be subjects in his kingdom and we receive his full care and benefits (Ps 136). If we are going to have a private time it should not be to escape the rules but to bask in God’s care and love as he ministers to our hurting spirit.
3. Our time is not our own. Since we live in the kingdom and God is our king who created us and owns all we must admit that we can never really have “me time”. Those around us may try to make us believe otherwise but the truth is “no man can possess time.” Time cannot be bought even though it is spent. To demand time for self and for self interest comes from a selfish and sinful heart. That is why James states that we should put God’s will before our plans (James 4:13-17). How we spend time alone must ultimately be how he wants us to spend it.
4. The idea of “me” is opposite in the Kingdom of Christ. The world will tell you that if you assert yourself and live life on your terms you will be happy. But in the Kingdom of Christ you will not find that idea at all. In fact you will find the opposing idea. We are to submit, be humble, be giving, be kind, be serving, and be His.
When the disciples disputed over who is the greatest, Jesus declared the greatest will be the least (Luke 22:26). At other times, he said the first in this world will be last (Matt. 19:30). The humble will be exalted (Matt. 23:12). Giving is better than receiving (Acts 20:35). And dying brings life (Luke 9:24).
So is “me time” wrong? No, but you need to do it with the right motive and intention. Private time should be a time to recharge your batteries physically, mentally and especially spiritually. You should include God in your private time and discuss your plans, goals, and aspirations in light of his will and word. And private time should never be done to the neglect of your responsibilities and your family.
May God bless you as you take time to recharge and refresh yourself in God’s will and word.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, give me the strength for this day…this moment. Help me not to neglect my responsibilities or my family. Keep me focused on what is important and not on self. Fill me with your presence and with your will and word for my life. Help me to be the man you have called me to be for your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!