Baxter, Time-Wasters, and the New Year

Ah, the New Year. . . time for resolutions!  Time to redeem “the time”.  Time for all those promises we’ve been failing to keep already, to make them anew and to hope again, even if it’s just for a few short days.

Do I sound too pessimistic?  I certainly don’t mean to, but I know too well the way things go and the waywardness of man.  Lord, would you help me this year, to promise less and deliver more. . . and to be more delivered by the promise!

I thought I would post here a list I found on another blog today (Puritan Fellowship).  It seemed fitting going into the new year.  Here are some thieves that the Puritan Richard Baxter warned the believers of his today to guard against.  Interestingly, there is one for every hour on the clock.  I think this list is just as applicable today as the day in which Baxter wrote it.

Thief I: One of the greatest time-wasting sins consists of idleness or sloth.

Thief II: The next thief or time-waster is excess of sleep.

Thief III: The next thief or time-waster is an inordinate adorning of the body.

Thief IV: Another time-wasting thief is unnecessary pomp and curiosity in retinue, attendance, house furniture, provision and entertainments, together with excess of compliment and ceremony, and servitude to the humors and expectations of time-wasters.

Thief V: Another time-wasting sin is needless and tedious feastings, gluttony, and tippling. (Tippling – drinking)

Thief VI: Another time-waster is idle talk.

Thief VII: Another thief which by the aforesaid means would steal your time, is vain and sinful company.

Thief VIII: Another notorious time-wasting thief, is needless, inordinate sports and games, which are stigmatized by the offenders themselves, with the infamous name of pastimes, and masked with deceitful title of recreations;

Thief IX: Another time-wasting thief is excess of worldly cares and business.

Thief X: Another time-waster is vain ungoverned and sinful thoughts.

Thief XI: Another dangerous time-waster sin is the reading of vain books, play-books, romances, and feigned histories; and also unprofitable studies, undertaken but for vain-glory, or the pleasing of a carnal or curious mind.

Thief XII: But the master-thief that robs men of their time is an unsancitified, ungodly heart; for this loseth time whatever men are doing; because they never intend the glory of God.

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