5-Minute Bible Studies
PUNCTUALITY – A Five-Minute Study
Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Contributed by Margaret Garner
Senior Associate, Worldwide Discipleship Association, Fayetteville, GA
October 15, 2001
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE- ESTHER Esther 4: 15-16
The entire book of Esther must be read in order to grasp the significance of Esther’s choice to “show esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time”. Esther, who was a Jew, found herself queen of the Persian Empire, although she did not reveal her nationality to anyone. Some leaders in the kingdom (namely the Prime Minister named Haman) plotted to destroy the Jews. Mordecai (Esther’s adoptive father) urged her to go to the King on behalf of the Jews in order to save them.
Although the task seemed simple, it carried with it great danger because: All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. (Esther 4:11) Mordecai admonished Esther that if she remained silent she and her family would perish, and God would raise up deliverance for His people from another source. (Esther 4:12-14)
Esther made the difficult decision to go before the king, but first made this request of Mordecai: Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. Esther cared so much for her people that she had the courage to do the right thing (go to the king) at the right time (in the midst of this crisis).
Thankfully, most issues of punctuality do not involve such life-and-death choices. However, through Esther’s life and choice we see that doing the right thing at the right time is important to God. In Ephesians 5:15-16 Paul tells believers about the importance and value of using time carefully: Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
PUNCTUALITY IN OUR LIVES-
Some practical evidences of punctuality in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:
I will be at the right place at the right time.
I will prepare for unexpected delays.
I will do my work ahead of time.
I will plan a daily schedule and keep it.
I will not fall into the trap of “just one more”.
Divide into pairs and discuss:
- What are some of the things in our lives that hinder punctuality? (Some possible answers: poor planning, being too busy, disorganization, lack of self-control)
- What are some of the benefits of being punctual-to others, to you? (Some possible answers: To others: they feel respected and valued, helps them use time efficiently, sets a good example. To self: sense of peace without feeling hurried, no guilt, joy in pleasing God)
- How does being punctual show respect and consideration for others? (Some possible answers: It communicates that the person(s) and his time are important and valuable to me. It communicates that I realize my actions have an effect on others. It communicates that I am not just “looking out for my own interests.”)
PUNCTUALITY IN MY LIFE THIS WEEK-
Spend 3 minutes in personal reflection:
- Is being punctual an area of struggle in your life?
- If it is, choose one specific situation (e.g. being on time to work) and evaluate why you have difficulty in that situation.
- Write a plan that addresses this difficulty. (e.g. “I will prepare my lunch the night before.”)
- Ask someone to pray with you and hold you accountable.
This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.