5-Minute Bible Studies

PUNCTUALITY – A Five Minute Study

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by Craig E. Beckley
Teacher, Moores Hill, Indiana

September 29, 2001


For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40)

All of God’s creation, plans, activities, and dealings with man have been on a precise timetable. So many of the Old Testament prophecies are given as a sign to the New Testament believer, and are exact as to timing and format. Just as Jonah was in the great fish for a specific time, so was Jesus in the bowels of the earth for a specific time. The time was not too long nor too short, but for exactly three days and three nights.

The rising of the “Star of Bethlehem” took place exactly at the appropriate moment and in the proper location to give guidance to the Wise Men. They were able to locate the Messiah that was born to save men from their sins.

Often we see the phrase ” In the fullness of time” in the scriptures, denoting the appropriate timing of an intervening action by God into the affairs of men.

Even the meeting of Jesus and Judas and in the Garden of Gethsemane took place only after Jesus said that it was “time to go”.

God works on a very exacting timetable. If we are growing to be more and more like Jesus, we need to emulate this character quality in our daily lives.

Punctuality is a sign of respect and love for the rights and importance of others and The Other in our lives. It shows that we esteem the worth of other people, when we adapt our schedule to meet the obligations that we have with them.

If you were seeking employment, could you afford to arrive at the interview late?

Have you ever found it amazing how some people are able to “cram” so many tasks into a day and accomplish so much?

Are you aware of individuals that are able to say “no” to themselves in order to assist others in accomplishing their goals?

The key to these lives is in an understanding of the importance of punctuality. We owe it to the Lord and those around us to control our freedoms so that we may best accomplish God’s plan for our lives.

Here are five “I will” principles whose practice will help us incorporate the character quality of punctuality into our lives (write these on a poster, board or overhead transparency).

1. I will be at the right place at the right time.
2. I will prepare for unexpected delays.
3. I will do my work ahead of time.
4. I will plan a daily schedule and keep it.
5. I will not fall into the trap of” just one more”.

Closing #1: Lets dialog about it with one another.

  • Shift the group into small discussion groups of 3-4.
  • Encourage groups to list the hindrances in their own lives to practicing punctuality with their families, with acquaintances, and with tasks.
  • Ask groups to share their feelings with the whole group.

Closing #2: Let’s close in silent prayer, ask God:

  • To forgive you for things in your life that cause you to focus on yourself instead of the needs that are around you.
  • To show you how to practice punctuality in your life.
  • To make you aware of opportunities to grow in this character quality.



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.