Reconsidering Productivity

Just because we can do many things doesn’t mean we should.

The natural progression of newer technology is to do more. We can be more productive in our work if we have a tablet. We can always be reached if we have a smart phone. The devices that promise to be “time savers” turn into little lights and tones that beg for more attention.

(I’m sorry. Was that my phone or yours?)

It’s also true that our technological advances have allowed us to be more connected than ever before. The world is at our finger tips. We are also driven to experience and influence the world in bigger and better ways.

Isn’t this a good thing?

I’ve been reconsidering productivity from the principle Jesus gives in Matthew 25:21. “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” Many of us will jump at the “over much” part, and forget the former phrase. It seems we’ve tried to invert the process.

We value productivity over faithfulness.

We want to skip past the “little things” and get on to the big things. We want to spend time doing more (even good things) without do anything well. Sadly, we may end up losing a lot more than we thought we would be gaining.

I’ve heard many heart-wrenching stories of people who dream big things for God and pursue them to their fullest ability while leaving their friends and family behind. In our “productivity perspective” we idolize these individuals. In the biblical perspective, we learn that anyone who “does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV).

As a follower of Jesus, I want to value what God values. God has not called me to be productive; He’s called me to be faithful.

Faithfulness begins with the little things.

So, I’m reconsidering productivity and checking to be sure my values are biblical. Something that has helped me is Jeremiah 9:23-24.

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

Consider these thoughts:

  • Do I place a higher value on what I know or Who I know?
  • Do I place a higher value on my influence or my faithfulness?
  • Do I place a higher value on what I have or what I give?
  • Do I place a higher value on myself or is my greatest joy to love God and love others?

Perhaps today would be a good time to consider being “unproductive” in order to become faithful in the things that God values.

May we focus on following Jesus in the little things.

Such faithfulness may result in more than we could possibly imagine.

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