Applying the Character Quality of Punctuality

Punctuality vs. Tardiness

2 min

Punctuality is demonstrating the worth of people and time by arriving for appointments before they begin.

The Importance of Punctuality

Punctuality is based on two important factors. The first is a reverence for time, and the second is a respect for other people. Punctuality is being present, prepared, and alert for appointed times and seasons. Being punctual is living in harmony with the nature of God (Who is always precisely on time). It should be part of our motivation to make the best use of every minute of each day, in light of the imminent return of Christ.

A Reverence for Time

We are to reverence time, because God created it. He established seasons of the year and seasons of life. God designed the day for work and the night for rest. He wants us to make full use of every day and finish one week’s work in six days. We are then to honor Him with “the firstfruits of all our increase,” including the first portion of a paycheck, the first part of the day, and the first day of the week.

If you have not been punctual toward God, consider the Word of the Lord: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Confess your sins to God, and write out the steps you plan to take to establish punctuality before the Lord.

A Respect for People

The second factor required for punctuality is a respect for other people and the time God has entrusted to them. Time is one of our most precious assets. We are given a limited amount of it and are accountable to God for how we use it.

When we keep other people waiting, we actually rob them of their time and hinder them from accomplishing God’s will. We fail to obey the command to “walk circumspectly … redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16). We also fail to comprehend the truth of the following quote:

“Lost, yesterday,
Somewhere between sunrise and sunset,
Two golden hours,
Each set with sixty diamond minutes.
No reward is offered
For they are gone forever.”
Horace Mann (1796–1859)

When we keep other people waiting, we actually rob them of their time and hinder them from accomplishing God’s will.

If you have robbed others of time by your lack of punctuality, make a list of those whom you have wronged, and ask for their forgiveness. Fulfill the promises that you have made to others, and design ways for others to hold you accountable for punctuality. Make this a priority until punctuality is a consistent discipline in your life.

Related Character Qualities Necessary for Punctuality

  • Organization—Organizing our lives and surroundings so that we can be on time.
  • Creativity—Designing more efficient ways to accomplish tasks so that we can be on time.
  • Initiative—Taking the lead in doing what needs to be done in order to be punctual.
  • Patience—Forgiving the lack of punctuality in others.

Personal Evaluation

  • Do you go to bed early so that you can get up early and spend time with the Lord?
  • Do you seize opportunities to share the Gospel as God directs you?
  • Do you arrive on time for mealtimes and other family gatherings?
  • Do you arrive early at your place of employment?
  • Do you keep appointments that you make with others?
  • Do you promptly pay your bills?
  • Do you fulfill the promises you have made to others?
Explore more about this topic in The Power for True Success

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