How precious is your time?

By Emily Dean, PhD

Growing up in the United States, you often hear the saying, “Time = Money.” In the 20th century this phrase brought up ideas of increased productivity and efficiency. Better use of time equals greater profit. We have even related the value of time to how much money you can command per hour.

Today the phrase is also connected to the idea that time is just as or even more valuable than money. Seeing time as a commodity is an idea generational researchers have noted as a cultural paradigm shift beginning with Gen X and younger generations.[1] If you think about time as a commodity, it is the one arena of life where everyone is on the same playing field. Each of us is allotted the same amount every day, 24 hours. For the most part, we have a choice how we spend it.

In Psalm 90:12 Moses wrote, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Each day, each moment we make a choice how we will spend our time. As I watch how quickly our children are growing up right before my eyes, I am reminded of the importance of investing well. We can either spend our days wisely investing in people and things of eternal consequence, or we can let it waste away without being intentional about investing in anything.

I must confess many days I do not see the precious value of time with those who matter most. I get so caught up in the busyness of the day that before I know it, the day is gone. Like Moses, I have to pray often that God would give me wisdom to order my day so that I would make the wisest use of minutes. Minutes spent well are important because time is precious. It’s one of the few things in life we can never get back.

Editor’s note: Emily Dean is an adjunct faculty member at NOBTS. Follow her at

[1] Cam Marston, Motivating the “What’s In It For Me?” Workforce, (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2007), 60.