Taking a time out

Fully called, perfectly positioned.

A news article earlier this week caused some division among “experts.” According to these experts, research has shown that applying time-out as discipline may cause harm to due to feelings of separation and rejection. I immediately disagreed and sided with the “experts” on “my side.” I once gave my youngest a four-minute time-out (minute per year) and only realised two hours later, when I found him asleep, that I forgot to call him back!

As I pondered the “benefit” or “harm” of giving time-outs and having preached on Nehemiah’s time-out with God recently, I came to see some truth to what this “expert” said. What is the difference between using time-out as discipline or the discipline of time-out? It is the motivation! The one is behaviour based and the other relational based. When we only apply behaviour-based time-outs, are we perhaps modelling a negative association to the idea of time-out? Or, do we ourselves practice enough time-outs to seek God first?

Think about it:

How did Nehemiah go from receiving devastating news to transforming a whole city?

How do you go from here (X) to ————> (Y) there?

For most of us reading this the idea of taking time out every week, let alone every day seems as enticing as a dentist visit. And for that we drift. We struggle with perceived unanswered prayers, we worry, we harbour bitterness and for that our families suffer, our marriages suffer, our friendships suffer and the idea of being perfectly positioned to achieve God’s greater purposes in our lives are only a distant pipedream. But, it does not have to be! You have the power today to break this cycle!

How? Nehemiah’s first response was to take time out. It says he sat down, he wept, he mourned, he prayed, and he fasted. In short, he meditated. Instead of it bringing rejection, and separation it brought transformation! Time-out with Jesus fills the wells of our souls that permeate our hearts, cascading through our minds and overflowing into every part of our lives! It will make you listen longer, learn more and love deeper. It will make you love your enemy and restore relationships. It will make for a better you. Fully called. Perfectly positioned. Transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Enticing? Why don’t you take 5 minutes every morning for the rest of the week?