When people see a blog on Christian productivity and time management, their eyes start to glaze over. For many, schedules and to-do lists are a drain. Time Management is seen as some niche topic for nerds.
That viewpoint is because few realize what this blog is really about.
It’s about affecting eternity.
And it’s about the state of our hearts as much as it is about the state of our calendar.
It’s a subject for every Christian to consider.
Definitions of Productivity
What does it mean to be productive?
What does it mean to be truly productive – as a Christian?
It sounds like a simple question, but the answers are profound.
Society has its view. The original concept was based on getting as much profit from factories and workers as possible. Recently, productivity has come to encompass areas such as family, rest, and learning. Maintaining happiness and peace is now the goal.
The Christian view of productivity is starkly different.
At its core, Christian productivity is using our lives in this world to most powerfully impact eternity. It is about doing things (things that bring glory to God), but it’s so much more. It’s about doing the right things at the right time in the right way with the right heart.
The Six Qualities of Christian Productivity
- Living in the World
Even if we’re redeemed, we still live in the world – a world of Email, social media, and job obligations. It’s healthy for us to strive to be effective in these seemingly mundane matters. We bring glory to God when we work as unto the Lord, and our diligence may leave us with an abundance that we can share with others.
- Holistic View of Life
The next progression in Christian productivity is to see all of our time as belonging to God. We are productive when we live every second of our lives out of obedience and faithfulness to God’s instructions. Family, rest, church, discipleship, personal spiritual growth, and care for our physical bodies become important ways we steward our time.
- Passion and Mission
Our lives are more than simply balancing our various roles. We want to live with passion. We want to have lives that matter. We want to leave a legacy. The pursuit of our life is bringing glory to God through discovering and pursuing our callings. Our lives are infused with godly ambition.
This is where Christian productivity truly begins to depart from the worldly models. When bringing God glory and affecting eternity are our goals, this is done with more than just our task list. This is also done with our hearts. Our focus is not on knocking out our to-dos but on doing so with a Christlike attitude. Humility, reverence, and contentment are required before we can properly glorify God. Productivity comes in not seeking our own glory or the praise of men but in seeking the glory of our maker.
Closely related to our attitudes are the motivations that drive us. Do we seek to be productive in order to revel in our own accomplishments? That’s idolatry. Do we strive to bring glory to God in order to receive material blessings from his hand? That’s ultimately self-seeking. Do we concentrate on being truly productive in order to earn his smile or his good graces? This is legalism and goes against the idea of justification by faith alone. Christian productivity is driven by the right force: laying ourselves down as living sacrifices – this is our spiritual act of worship.
We realize that any positive impact our lives have upon eternity – any glory we bring to God – is only coming as the result of his working in us. Christian productivity is really about us making ourselves clean vessels through which God can be productive. It’s not about sprinkling a little God into our tickler files and productivity systems.
The world tells you that productivity is working harder, accomplishing more, and living the life of your dreams. My prayer is that we all would begin to see how to truly be productive.
What elements of Christian productivity stuck out to you?
What can you do to improve in this area?
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