Is Time Your Friend or Foe?

Two men I’ve been acquainted with recently died. Their time on earth had come to its predicted end.

One was a really good guy who loved God and invested much of his life seeking the greater good of others. The other fellow had accumulated considerable wealth but with the (presumably well-earned) reputation of being a cheating scoundrel.

Now, both bodies return to dust as their souls await the Day of Judgment, and it is quite likely that their respective outcomes will differ radically.

Time holds us all captive. From the moment we are born until the final breath leaves our lips, we are all prisoners of time. The power to break free is beyond our collective grasp. As a now-deceased friend used to say, “None of us gets out of here alive.”

Only God is everlasting, the Creator of time who exists beyond its boundaries. Thus, it is our connection with Him—or lack thereof—that determines whether time will be a friend or foe.

One of my favorite Christian writers, A.W. Tozer, put it this way:

For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast; before the sons of the new creation time crouches and purrs and licks their hands. The foe of the old human race becomes the friend of the new, and the stars in their courses fight for the man God delights to honor.

One of the keys to harnessing the dynamics of time lies in understanding the relationship between grace and good works. Our own wayward selfishness has bound the entire human race under sin, and no amount of service or hard work can tip the balance in our favor. Thus, only foolishly do we feverishly labor in the hope of accumulating more good works than bad, vainly wishing to be accepted by God for our efforts.

Our Creator has designed the gospel to inoculate eternity against human pride, and so salvation must be by grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a favor we cannot earn, but one that enables us to enter into an intimate relationship with the everlasting God.

And good works? They are to be love-motivated, the products of thankful hearts acutely aware of His incredible mercy and grace.

We each enter this world naked, and in the same manner, we will exit. Rich. Poor. Brilliant. Dull-minded. Strong. Weak. Attractive. Homely. Popular. Rejected. None of these things matter in light of eternity. Each person’s journey on this globe will one day lead to a point in time when the wisdom (or lack thereof) of his or her life is revealed full force.

As yet another year passes and a new one begins, as we re-evaluate and reset our lives, by the grace of God I seek to embrace the passage of time as I would a faithful friend. Are you in position to do the same? There is no better time than now to put away the old and fully embrace the new.


Bob Santos is the author of Say Goodbye to Regret: Discovering the Secret to a Blessed Life—a book first and foremost about learning to live wisely.


A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1992), 73.