I was having a conversation with a few of my dear friends a few days ago about the topic of productivity.
I was wrestling with something I heard in an audiobook and was using the opportunity to bounce some thoughts off them.
While the thoughts are still in raw/formation mode, I wanted to share them with you as well …
I love the topic of time management and productivity … and over the last twenty-plus years, I’ve read well over a hundred books on the topic, attended conferences and online courses, and spent more time than I care to admit trying out different systems and methods to be able to get more done.
Inherently, there is nothing wrong with the desire to do more for the glory of God and get more accomplished in our day … well, at least I didn’t think so.
We live in a culture of “more” and “right now” and “have to get this done.” It has caused a frantic panic in our world that causes us to be glued to our devices and confuses busyness with accomplishment.
But in Scripture, productivity doesn’t appear to be God’s big agenda for our lives … He desires fruitfulness and faithfulness.
God doesn’t want us to just “do more things” (even for His glory) … He wants us to be faithful where He has us and to bear fruit.
I was listening to the audiobook of Redeeming Productivity (and while I’m not yet finished with it, I’ve already bought a physical copy and think it may be one of the best books on the topic I’ve ever read).
In the book, the author made several “ah-ha” statements that gave language to a few key concepts I’ve been pondering over the last six months.
One of which is the idea of bearing fruit. He showed that the biblical language for “getting things done” is not machine language (which we often use in modern productivity books — i.e., efficiency, production, effectiveness, etc.) … rather, the biblical language is that of fruitfulness (sowing, reaping, bearing fruit, abiding, etc.).
I’ve thought a lot about this over the past few days, and I’ve been convicted.
I still don’t have good language to fully process through it but I’ve realized that in the rush to check things off a list, I’ve not slowed down to ask if what is on the list bears fruit. I’ve realized that I can be super productive yet bear no fruit – I can be a branch that is full of leaves (to the selfish benefit of the branch), but not produce fruit (reproducing the life of the vine).
God doesn’t merely want activity in my life, He wants me to be faithful where He has me and to bear fruit unto His glory.
And to be honest, the thing I don’t like about the “fruitfulness” language is that fruit takes time to grow, develop, and mature. But God isn’t in the same rush that our modern culture is in to accomplish things. He is okay with slowing down and allowing roots to grow deep so that a tree will produce an abundance of fruit over the long haul.
All that to say, I want to be fruitful and faithful, not merely productive. And I pray that your life (and mine) will be known for an abundance of fruit for the glory, honor, and praise of our King.
Know I am praying for you and cheering you ever deeper into the amazing fullness of Christ Jesus!