Galatians 4:9-10—… why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.
Time is valuable. The time we’ve been given has a purpose; all of our lives have a beginning and an end, and what we do with that time is important. But often, we waste our time doing things that don’t matter. And that doesn’t just mean procrastinating on things we need to get done for work or school. Paul said the Galatians were trying to earn God’s favor by observing religious rituals and traditions; they were wasting their time trying to get in a right standing with God.
Are there religious practices you do to try and earn favor with God? A lot of people go to church because they think that’s how they earn God’s love. Some of us give not because we want to, but because we think that’s how we can get God on our side. But even though those are good things, they’re not what make us right with God, and without Him, we’re just wasting our time.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Time is a tool to be used for investing in the kingdom of God. The verses right before this, Ephesians 2:8 and 9, say that salvation isn’t something we can earn, but something that God freely gives to us when we believe in Him. Too many of us spend valuable time just going through the motions of religious tradition, when really we should be focusing on how to have a right relationship with God.
You don’t have to be afraid of what will happen if you make mistakes. Jesus didn’t come to the Earth in order to condemn, but to forgive. That doesn’t mean that we should just do whatever we want, but that we have been given freedom in Christ to do His work instead of constantly trying to earn His love. It’s time to stop wasting time. Put your faith and trust in God so that you can have the confidence to invest your time in what really matters: leveraging what you have to advance the kingdom of God throughout all of the Earth.