The notion of “improving” time is seen throughout the writings of Jonathan Edwards. He gave a great deal of thought to it and chose to live wisely in light of his discoveries. Indeed, Jonathan Edwards sought to “live with all his might unto the Lord.”
Time is a precious commodity that must be treasured. Such is the argument in Jonathan Edward’s piece entitled, The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It.
The subject of time was no stranger to Edwards. He thought about the “improvement” of time often. Even in his famous 70 resolutions, he addressed the matter of time.
Resolution # 5
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
It would serve us well, then, to consider the precious matter of time from Jonathan Edwards’ perspective.
Section 1: Why Time is Precious
Jonathan Edwards states four reasons why time is precious.
- Because a happy or miserable eternity depends on the good or ill improvement of it.
- Time is very short, which is another thing that renders it very precious.
- Time ought to be esteemed by us very precious, because we are uncertain of its continuance.
- Time is very precious, because when it is past, it cannot be recovered.
Edwards argues in respect to to time, “…When once that [time] is gone, it is gone for ever; no pains; no cost will recover it.” So typical is this eternal perspective that flows so freely from the pen of the Northampton preacher. Tragically, many Christ-followers are not following the counsel of this godly man as they squander their time with worldly pursuits. He reminds us, “Eternity depends on the improvement of time; but when once the time of life is gone, when once death is come, we have no more to do with time; there is no possibility of obtaining the restoration of it or another space in which to prepare for eternity.”