Book – Redeeming Your Time: 7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present & Wildly Productive
Author – Jordan Raynor
I’m a big fan of Jordan Raynor. So, why is he one of my favorite authors? His books are so well written I cannot wait to crack their covers. He blends interesting illustrations with timely truths. His content is right up my alley: some of his biggest concerns include doing creative work for the Kingdom of God, honing one’s focus on the calling God has given, and using what God gives to the best advantage. His words profit my life, even when my life doesn’t align with his objectives (I’ll explain this further).
I believe his values are in the right place. He emphasizes the Word of God and the will of God. Plus, his focus is on “grace-based” living/gospel, rather than “works-based” living/gospel. As he’s said before, “God doesn’t need us to do anything.” We seek productivity not to earn God’s favor or prove we belong to Him, but rather, in response to God’s favor because we belong to Him.
I’m not the target audience for Redeeming Your Time: 7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present and Wildly Productive. As a stay-at-home mom of teens and part-time writing enthusiast, my time is fluid. I have wide-open days and few requirements beyond serving as chauffer (soon even that will go, since Sean is now 15), occasional cook, and constant clothes/dish washer. Time management just isn’t high on my list. Still, I often complain about days wasted in non-essentials. So, this book will increase my desire to make my days count.
In fact, the timing for this read was tremendous because I have camped for a season in Ephesians 5:14-16: Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. (KJV) Indeed, many Christians are sleeping. Oh, how we need Christ’s light in this dark and evil world. God’s direction is clear. He calls us to be circumspect and to use the remaining time wisely. This is the perfect time to focus on Redeeming Your Time.
I went back and forth when the book released in October, daunted by the $20+ hardback price. At last, I requested the book from my library. I now regret that. The book is worth every penny. I bought the audio version for my son Bryce to use on his lengthy work commute – a perfect fit for his interests and inclinations. Yet, think of all the library patrons who will benefit from my initial frugality.
Redeeming Your Time is highly readable and solidly structured. Jordan walks the reader through 7 principles, supported by practices to help reach those goals. Not only is this book biblically sound, but it is Christ-centered. The very first principle for making the most of your time isn’t to get busy doing what you want to accomplish. No, it is: ground yourself daily in the Word of God. He gets what is foundational! The remaining principles focus on how our supreme example, Christ, redeemed His time. You can never go wrong following Christ’s pattern!
Although I didn’t attempt every suggestion, I followed several without delay. When he highlighted the benefits of walking, I donned my shoes and took a half-hour walk. I wasted the first ten minutes focused on the biting cold, then settled into prayer. My thoughts may not have solved problems, but I girded up my family for the day.
I treasured his observations about counterintuitive practices. He highlights adequate sleep as so important. I laughed at the vignette of Thomas Edison’s approach to capturing sleep-induced breakthroughs. Instead of shying away from the impossible, Jordan recommends setting big extravagant goals. He emphasizes the productivity boost provided by ceasing activity and observing the Sabbath. Plus, he suggests limiting the time in deep work (or creating effective breaks between deep work).
If you cannot find enough content in this book, Jordan offers countless supplemental materials on his website. I would love a chance to meet this author and pick his brain. He has so much to offer the world and God’s kingdom, and he’s focused on squeezing every bit of potential God has gifted in him. I agree with Hannah Brencher (author of another great book, Fighting Forward): “This book is a game changer. Expect your life to change in radical ways. Get ready to scribble down notes, highlight sections, and cling to the additional resources.” If that doesn’t convince you, maybe you’d like to read the 32 endorsements inside the front cover. Indeed, 95% of Amazon reviewers have left 5 star reviews, so I’m not alone on this.