“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).


My daughter Novella recently told a friend and the friend’s mom that her dad was “obsessed” with knives. This was a few minutes before the friend was coming over for a playdate. My wife was aghast.

I’m sure the statement brought to mind a psychopath sitting in a dimly lit room slowly honing the edge of a shiny butcher knife. In reality, I collect and restore old pocket knives.

When my wife first told me the story, I laughed, but then it got me thinking about how my kids are watching and learning from me. They see how I spend my time.

Imagine if she had said, “My dad is obsessed with the Bible. He’s always reading that book.” Or, “My dad is obsessed with playing freeze tag with us. He loves chasing us around the yard.” Or countless other noble or useful pursuits. “My dad loves doing dishes” comes to mind.

But Novella spoke the truth. When it comes to hobbies, I have an obsessive personality. A few years ago, I was obsessed with coin collecting. Before that it was guitars.

As a father of four, I have limited amounts of free time. And truthfully, I’m selfish with my time.

But there is nothing more valuable you can give your children, your spouse or a friend or neighbor than a little bit of time. Rather than focusing your time inwardly on a hobby or a phone screen, focus it outwardly on someone you love. (I’m preaching to myself right now.)

In Matthew 6:20-21, Jesus said, “‘But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’”

Or in other words, don’t be obsessed with the things of this earth. Invest your time in growing closer to Christ and others.


>How do you spend the majority of your free time?

>What can you do to be more intentional about spending time with God and others?