Principles for Making Every Day the Best it Can Be
Posted at Reformation Scotland:
Conventional inspirational wisdom tells us rather vaguely to “make each day count”. Personal productivity advice induces anxiety about using our time effectively. But we can’t do something effectively that in itself is not worth doing or is actually harmful. We must be doing the right things out of the right motives and principles with a right end in view. “Redeeming the time” is a biblical requirement. When we get our spiritual priorities right, the rest of our activities fall into their proper place.
James Fraser of Brea (1639-1698) in his autobiography gives an interesting account of his life and spiritual experience. It includes many valuable spiritual reflections. He tells us, for instance about, “rules I daily follow in my daily walk: or, some special rules for ordering my own particular conduct”. The rules are included in an updated form below. They are unique to Fraser in some aspects and set a high standard for ministers let alone other Christians whose time may be much more limited. The first five rules are applicable to every day, the following five deal with every week, month and year.
This was a subject on which many others wrote including Samuel Rutherford (Letter 159). There were classic books such as that by the Westminster divine Henry Scudder called The Christian’s Daily Walk. Other writers including William Perkins, Robert Bolton, Richard Baxter had much to say on the subject. Each day is an opportunity to glorify God to our utmost and though we may feel we have come far short at the end of a day, Rutherford’s counsel is worth heeding. ...