Object Lesson – How Do You "Spend" Your Time?
This is an object lesson you can use to teach children the importance of spending time with God every day. To conduct the lesson, you’ll need $168.00 in play money. (Many dollar stores carry play money.) The suggested Scripture verse to use is Psalm 90:12, but there are many others if you want to search a bit.
This is a suggested dialogue. Feel free to adjust it according to the children you minister to.
I have here $168.00 in play money. It just so happens that there are 168 hours in every week, so each dollar will represent one hour. How do you “spend” your time? (Count the bills as you go through the following options.)
Let’s say you get about 8 hours of sleep each night. Multiply 8 hours times 7 days and you get 56 hours. Let’s set aside $56 from our stack.
Next comes school. Let’s say that averages out to 7 hours per day. That’ll equal another 35 hours taken out of your week. We’ll set aside $35 for that.
Everyone needs to eat, so we’ve got to allow time for that. Let’s say you eat 3 meals a day and average 20 minutes per meal. That equals an hour a day or 7 hours for the week. I’ll set aside 7 more dollars.
Homework? Most nights you probably have homework to do. Let’s say it averages 5 hours per week; there’s another $5.
Watching TV. Many people do more, but let’s say you watch 2 hours of TV each week day and extra hours on the weekend. That’ll add another 20 hours, so we’ll set aside another $20.
Playing, including video games. Once you start playing, especially a video game, it’s hard to stop. Let’s say you average 2 hours per day on video games. That equals another 14 hours so I’ll set aside another $14. That only leaves us with $31 dollars; not a whole lot for a week.
Wasting time is also very easy to do. Let’s say that you waste 1 hour a day which will add another 7 hours so I’ll set aside another $7. Now we’re down to $24.
Time on the computer including Facebook, internet, email, etc. Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, that equals another three and a half hours. Let’s round that to 4 and set aside another $4.
How about sports activities? If you’re on a sports team or in band or chorus, you have to practice. Let’s say that adds another hour each week day plus a few hours on the weekend. That adds another $8. Now we’re left with $12 for the week.
The question is, out of all that time you’ve “spent,” how much of it is spent with God or even thinking about God? God can be a part of the things above, but you have to acknowledge and recognize that he is there while you do those things. But let’s look at this from a different perspective.
What are some things you can do to “spend” time with God? (Let the children give some suggestions. Figure up the amount of “dollars” each week they can represent and count out the bills.)
– Read the Bible (15 minutes a day = $1.00)
– Pray (15 minutes a day = $1.00)
– Go to Church and Sunday School ($2.00 – $4.00 depending on the number of services attended.)
– Memorize verses from the Bible (15 minutes a day = $1.00)
– Add others as the children think of them.
Think of how you spend your time. Are you spending your time wisely? God says in Psalm 90:12 that it is important to number your days. That means you need to use your time wisely and take time to draw near to him. As you do, he promises to draw near to you.
If you find you’re doing something that is a waste of time, consider giving it up and spending that time with God instead. For example, is spending time with God more important than watching TV? If you give up one thirty-minute TV program and spend that time with God instead, it will give you a little over two hours ($2) each week and would be time well spent.
Will you make a choice this week to spend time with God every day?