Are we a punctual people? Punctuality simply means being on time. It means that you are able to meet deadlines, being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, as promised, without exception and without excuse. That’s punctuality.
In our society, it seems that “Filipino Time” is the norm. Filipinos are known to be tardy and always late. When we say we will meet at 8:00 a.m., we automatically think it’s 9:00 a.m. Most people will accept this mentality. But how about you? Does this hold true? Are we are a punctual church? Are we are a punctual people? And most importantly, are we a punctual individual?
In this blog, let me share with you three important reasons punctuality should be our practice as a Christian.
Point no. 1: Being punctual shows your respect to other people
Punctuality is the art of respecting the time of other people. Punctuality takes effort, time and energy. It is not an accident that a person gets to a meeting place 15 minutes early. Thus, it is disrespectful not to arrive on time. You disrespect the time, effort and energy that person has invested just to be on time.
It only shows that you think that your time is more important than to that person.
Let me make this clear to all of us: Being late does not make us an important person. Whoever we are, we simply don’t deserve the right to be late.
I believe being late is an act of SELFISHNESS. You want extra time for your need, but in doing so, you are also taking the minute of other people. You simply see your needs to be more important than other people’s need.
Point no. 2: Punctuality reveals your integrity
Whether you like it or not, people will judge you depending on how punctual you are. If you can’t even make it on time, people will think of you as unreliable, undependable, and untrustworthy. Being on time may be a small thing for us Christians, but God will also look at the small things in our life as a basis of His judgment. For it is written in Luke 16:10:
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
How can God entrust us His Kingdom if we can’t even keep our promise to one another. When you say you’ll be there at 8:00 am, but you arrived 8:01 am, you essentially broke your promise.
How do people see us? If we have an appointment with them, do they automatically think that we will be late since it has always been our attitude? Or will they try also to be on time since they know we always keep our word? I hope when people think of us, they think of us as a punctual person.
Point no. 3: Being late can potentially lead to sin
We are Christians and we certainly don’t want to sin, right? However, do you know that being late can potentially lead to sin? As a matter of fact, in some cases, being late can automatically be considered as a sin.
One of the Ten Commandments tells us, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
How can a simple minute of being late be equated to sin?
For one, when you are late, you just stole a minute of that person’s life. That person could have done other things like studying the Bible, praying, making a living, or simply be with his or her family for a longer period of time. But instead, you just stole precious minutes from his or her life.
Number two, Sin begets sin. A sin can lead to another sin. When we are late, sometimes, we are forced to make excuses while deep inside in our being and hearts, we KNOW we are the main reason we are late. We try to blame the traffic. We try to blame our broken watch, our spouse, our government, and even our dogs! When we make excuses and we know that we are to blame, we just lied to other people and not just to other people, but to ourselves. And we know that lying is a sin.
Broken promises are also considered as a sin. In Psalms 15, King David asked who will be the people who will rule with God. One of the answers is a person who “keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind” (Psalms 15:4). When you said you will be there at 10 am, you essentially made an oath.
The Bible tells us that you must keep an oath even to the point it will hurt you. No matter what happens, you will keep your promise. Even if this means, shorter time of sleep, shorter time of taking a bath, running to your destination, and sweating all over your shirt, you will still keep your promise. Because if you don’t have what it takes to keep a promise, then never make one. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:37, let your yes, be yes and your no be no. Why? Because whatever is more than this is from the evil one.
In the final analysis, being late is not in our DNA. It is not something that we inherit. It is not because we are Filipinos that we are always late. It is a choice.
We are Christians and we are supposed to be following a higher standard. If we are habitually late, what does that tell other people? How can we influence other people if we can’t even keep our words? How can we shine as a good example to other people if we don’t even respect their time?
I read one businessman said that there are two reasons for being late; one is that you’re dead and two, you simply choose to be late. I know that there are valid reasons for a person to be late and I don’t take away that possibility. There are simply some things that are beyond our control and I am sure God and other people will understand. But my point here is that we must eliminate our habit of being late, be it within the church or outside the church.
Before ending this blog, I want to make a challenge for all of us, let us all strive to be punctual. This will not just improve your self in your education, career, and relationship, but it will help you grow to a more spiritually mature person. So let us strive to be punctual in ALL our dealings and hopefully be not late in entering God’s Kingdom as well.
P.S. I would love to hear from you. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions, suggestions, comments and stories to tell or you simply want to be part of my email subscription list. You can also come and worship with us by finding a congregation nearest you. Get in touch!
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