1 Samuel 13:8 “And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.”
Your punctuality tells much about your character. I am always amazed how many don't think that punctuality is essential. Throughout my years in the ministry, I have watched people come straggling into church ten, fifteen, and even thirty minutes after the services have started. It is not that it is a one-time occurrence, but it is something they do all the time. Sadly, those who are not on time are they who tend to struggle in their faithfulness to the LORD. Your punctuality does matter, and it not only affects you, but it affects those around you.
The Scriptures do not say whether a lack of punctuality was a one-time occurrence in Samuel’s life, but what we do know is that he did not keep the appointment that he set with Saul. Samuel’s lack of punctuality set Saul up for sin. Now, there was no excuse for Saul’s sin, but we cannot avoid the fact that Saul would not have sinned had Samuel been on time. There are several things about punctuality that I would like to point out to you.
First, punctuality reveals your dependability. People cannot depend on you if you are not going to be on time. There are people in my ministry that I want to use, but I can't because they can't be depended on to be punctual to any event. They are always late; therefore, I can't depend on them to be there when I need them. You are hurting your ability to be used when you choose not to dependable because of your lack of being on time to events.
Second, a lack of punctuality reveals your self-centeredness because you are making the event about you showing up. You must really think you are something when you choose not to be on time. It is selfish to lack punctuality because you are wasting the time of others that they could use to get important tasks done. People cannot take back the time that you wasted because of your lack of punctuality. Your lack of punctuality makes you no better than a thief because you are stealing time from others that can't be recovered. Don’t be self-centered and waste another’s time by not being on time.
Third, punctuality reveals your ability to keep your word. When you are late, you are showing that your word cannot be trusted. You agreed to the time that you were supposed to be at some place or event and to be late is to break your word. You may not like lying, but you are a liar when you don't show up on time to an event or an appointment that you agreed to attend. If you don't want people to doubt the trustworthiness of your word, then be on time for everything. Punctuality is a snapshot of your ability to keep your word.
Fourth, punctuality shows what you think is important. If you thought something was important, you would be there on time. If I said to be at a certain place on time and I will give you one thousand dollars, I doubt that you would be late; in fact, you would probably make sure that you were early. My friend, if church is essential, and it is, be on time. If an appointment with someone is important, and every appointment you set is important because your word is on the line, be on time. Punctuality has nothing to do with your race, where you live, your family, or the part of the country in which you live; it has everything to do with your character. If you want people to think that you are a person of character, be a person who is punctual all the time.