Buying time

The Biggest Test

The one test everyone faces, the one test that’s unavoidable and penetrating for every human being, is this: TIME. Time reveals character, intentions, integrity, and other aspects of the human heart. When we shortcut time, we often get burned.

Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony online dating and noted marriage and family therapist, once told a crowd of college students that time was absolutely necessary in the pursuit of a life partner. “You need at least two years of time to be able to see that person under stress, making decisions, managing success, reacting to failure, dealing with anger, jealousy, and disappointment. Before you marry, you need to have a thorough opportunity to see a person through a variety of situations. Only then will you know if you really know that person. Only then can you wager your trust.” Why? Because some of us can keep up a front for a while, but eventually, a situation pushes the buttons that unleash what’s real, what’s hidden beneath. TIME tests the facade and reveals what is hidden beneath.

Jesus warned the disciples about persecution, struggles, betrayals, divisions, and doubts. “But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” Endurance, perseverance, and determination are assumed for the greatest marathoners. A marathon is not a sprint, although Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya just won the 2023 Chicago Marathon professional men’s division by setting a world record marathon time of 2:00.35. That means he ran an average mile in this 26.2-mile race in only 4 minutes and 36 seconds! The marathon isn’t just about speed. Stamina is crucial.

Time tests business partnerships, marriages, institutional integrity, structural integrity, moral fortitude, and virtually every kind of character issue. Faithfulness over time is the measure of a person’s character.

So, if you’re choosing who to trust, the test of TIME is your best instrument for that decision.

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