This is part three of the five-part series: Don’t Deny the Gospel.
Accomplishing more. That’s the primary theme running through just about every time management book ever written.
We pick up that book or read that website on productivity because somewhere deep inside we believe that it can help us do more. And we want so much to do more.
Earn more money. Relax more. Have more fun. Achieve more. Make your dreams a reality. Fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
But if we’re looking for fulfillment in what we do – instead of who we are in Christ – we are looking in the wrong place.
Fulfillment in Riches
Most Christians recognize on some level that wanting to have lots of money is a sinful desire. Paul says that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”
Jesus gives us perspective on why that is:
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
But think about this: loving money is not just about the spending and enjoyment of money – it can also be the scorecard. It’s looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are an important person because you make X amount of money. Pride rears its ugly head, and we become our own idols as we seek meaning in worldly accomplishments and the praise of men.
If your desire is to utilize time management so that you can be more effective in your career, earn more money, accomplish more, and thereby live a more fulfilled life – you are looking to the wrong place for that fulfillment. You are loving the wrong master.
Fulfillment in Lifestyle
But we don’t just look to earning money as the accomplishment that will give us satisfaction. Perhaps it’s fun. Perhaps it’s spending time with loved ones. We could come up with a nearly endless list of the wrong places we look for meaning in our lives.
Are you hoping that time management will lead to increased effectiveness and therefore increased fame and recognition – and then you’ll finally be satisfied?
Are you hoping that productivity will allow you more time away from the office – so that you can relax and have a fulfilling life?
Do you hope time management will allow you to spend more time with your children – which you hope will bring you more contentment and happiness?
I’m even going to be so bold as to say that many people who “want to follow God’s plan for their life” do so not out of reverence to Christ – but out of a desire to experience success, glory, and satisfaction in their own accomplishments. They merely want to use Christ’s methods as a divine ticket to their own idea of success. It’s just another version of a scorecard.
Finding True Fulfillment
8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
Paul had an impressive resume as a Jew. As a Christian, he had a long list of accomplishments as well. But Paul found his satisfaction not in what he did, but in who he was in Christ.
He even states that his achievements (which we would find impressive) are total and complete garbage to him. Useless. Worthless. Meaningless.
What mattered to Paul was being found in Christ.
Jesus was his source of fulfillment.
The Wake-Up Call
Time Management is simply just a tool: a way for us to maximize our efforts towards a desired end – good or bad. But as we hone this tool and start using it more, are we sure that our motivations are really gospel-centered?
Our attraction to personal productivity may just be the wake-up call we need to take a good hard look at what really drives us. Are you looking to anything other than Christ to bring you true fulfillment?
Part 3: Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Accomplish More Can Be a Bad Thing
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