Conduct: Be on Time

London, England 2010: The world-famous Big Ben clock tower could keep everyone abreast of the time in this busy world. On the streets, from the buildings, and even in the air, everyone can know where they stand with the time of day.

From Trent Ling:

Trent Ling shares matters that should be part of the conduct of disciples of Jesus.  For a brief explanation of such postings, please see Conduct in God’s Household.

Many have reputations for being late, running late, showing late, late, late, late.  People earn bad names in the arena of timeliness over the years and across the excuses.  Sadly, the world operates so casually that perhaps nobody notices?  However, for those paying attention, chronic tardiness not only rightly tarnishes the name of the late arriving, but also signifies their deeper spiritual troubles.

Those unable to arrive on time necessarily suffer shortages of self-discipline.  As the Spirit grows self-control and self-discipline as its natural-born fruits (Galatians 5:22 and 2 Timothy 1:7), the lack of such demonstrates a snuffed, ignored, and grieved Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

Beyond these self-disciplinary issues, even more readily visible deficits prevail in the tardy.  Lack of preparation (thought, planning, estimating), a shortage of consideration (where is the care for those now left waiting and wondering), limited participation (getting caught up can literally take years), and substantially reduced reliability (lateness proves lack of learning, growing, and repenting) mark the lackadaisical.  Nobody should ever aspire to be any of these.

Surely, a pre-announced absence or lateness would soothe the occasionally unavoidable scheduling conflict.  And substantially unforeseen obstacles may pop up here or there.  But, most assuredly, those usually running late lack the spiritual qualities to be on time and they should soberly be regarded as such.

On the flip side, arriving early can be as disruptive and improper as arriving late, especially when calling upon another’s home or business.  Those who drain everything from every day likely have much to do other than to entertain discourteous early arrivals.  All should intend to reach their destinations early, scrub off some time once in range, and then present themselves on time.  This represents the ideal scenario.

Those who prepare, consider, and discipline themselves for a starting time will be ready to roll at the appointed hour.  All should join them in hitting their timing marks.  Do not lollygag and forsake punctuality, and do not impose by jumping the gun and showing up prematurely into the laps of those for whom the moment of giving undivided attention has not yet arrived.

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Conduct: Be on Time — 6 Comments

  1. Amazing! I had never considered the spiritual root of tardiness. The self-control and self-discipline should ramify to every area of my life as a disciple. If I am lacking these or any other fruits of the Spirit it should alarm me enough to take a close look at my life and find out what is wrong. Thank you, Trent!

  2. By nature, I am a procrastinator, only rushing at the last minute. By indignation and godly sorrow (for I have been late) I love being on time, and hence loving this code of conduct. It is doable if we want to make it happen!

  3. This is beautiful! For most of my life, I have been a “make up the tardiness while driving” person, and God has let me know how immature that is. I think of the movie “The Jerk” when Steve couldn’t keep time to the music and although that isn’t what this is about — it does make sense that when the timing is right, the music plays better. Life is about time and God offers the Way (Acts 24:14) to make the most of our time, and be efficient in spending it, since once you become His — it is no longer your time. Self-discipline and self-control is so important — I have been a hit or miss on this for too long. Thank you Father. Love you

  4. This is a great teaching. Preparation is the key. Leave enough time for traffic. If you’re bringing food to the party, consider whether you’re going straight to the party or the food has to stay in your car first. And be sure to arrive with the food on time, especially when you signed up to bring one of the main dish. Also when you have to stop by to get food from a store, please consider the timing… so you won’t be late.

  5. Thank you for this teaching, this has always stayed with me. I drive my family nuts for the sake of being on time.I make every effort to be on time to everything even it I am 10 mins. early..

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