Stewardship: Check Your Foundations

Foundation

With an aching back, you go into the doctor’s office expecting some physical therapy or painkillers.

But the doctor realizes your real problem is flat feet – which leads to problems with your ankles – which leads to problems with your knees – which leads to problems with your hips – which leads to pain in your back.

Who would’ve thought that a shoe insert would fix your back pain? But it does the trick.

I find it’s the same with time stewardship. People want the latest time management tip. They want answers for their questions on balancing work and home, on handling priorities, or on being insanely busy.

But oftentimes, those problems are due to something that’s wrong under the surface. They have some core foundational belief that’s off kilter, and it’s throwing all of these other things out of whack.

What they don’t need is another time management system or another daily devotional – they need to peel back the layers and take a good hard look at the basics. And a good hard look at themselves.
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The Bruce Lee Style of Productivity

Bruce Lee

He is most recognizable for his movie and TV appearances, but don’t let that fool you. Bruce Lee was the real deal.

His speed was legendary, and his fighting performance was impressive. But what really set Lee apart was his revolutionary philosophy and approach to the martial arts – and this, surprisingly, can have a profound impact on our time management.
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The Motivation Experts Are Wrong: Visualizing Success Can Actually Lead to Failure

If you’ve read a few time management or self-help books, you’ve heard the same mantra over and over: the way to motivate yourself is to intensely visualize the benefits of success.

“Close your eyes,” the experts say. “Picture a better version of you. Healthier. More attractive. Wealthier. Imagine how confident and happy you’ll feel.”

These experts tell you this is the key to success – but psychological research shows the startling truth: these methods of motivation actually have a negative effect on performance.
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You Will Always Be Busy

When I was in college, mid-terms and finals were frantic, busy, brain-melting times. I looked forward to those breaks in between when things would get back into a nice, relaxed state of normal.

After graduation, it was a busy wedding. Then busy working. Then busy starting a business. Then busy with a baby. It seemed that there was always something going on – some temporary period of busyness. And it always seemed like I was just a little bit away from things calming down.

It took me some time to realize it – but when I got out of school and into the real world, being busy became the new normal. These hectic periods were not temporary hiccups in my otherwise normal life – this busyness is how life is.
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Weird but Useful: Being Productive by Using a Kitchen Timer

You may laugh because it seems silly. You may groan because it seems so uptight.

But using a simple kitchen timer has had a profound effect on my ability to be productive. There are lots of creative ways to use this little device, and I’ve surprised myself at how beneficial it’s been for me.

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His Yoke is Easy and His Burden Light… Really?

When Paul refers to his experiences serving Christ, he sometimes uses words like toil and hardship.

Jesus said for His disciples to take up their crosses. (Luke 9:23)

Any follower of Christ can tell you that the Christian life is far from a ticket to earthly prosperity and comfort and happiness. In fact, the reverse often seems to be the case.

But in the middle of all of this, Jesus tells us that “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

How can Jesus make this promise in the midst of the hardship that often accompanies Christianity?

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Be Strong and Courageous!

Obeying the call of God in my life was both inspiring and at the same time frightening.

I felt led to be an entrepreneur. My interests, skills, aspirations, and personality pointed towards owning and running my own business. Others that I knew encouraged me. Deep down, I knew the path that God had laid before me.

But still – part of me was afraid. The risk of failure was intimidating. I struggled with wanting to just “sell out” and take a comfy, safe job in the workforce somewhere.

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Have You Made an Idol out of Comfort?

When the Corinthian church questioned Paul’s authority, he gives them a glimpse into the life of an apostle. It’s not exactly a glowing endorsement.

He was whipped, beaten, and stoned. He was on frequent journeys, shipwrecked three times, and encountered constant danger everywhere he turned. And at the end of this long list of life-threatening situations, he adds that he was “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night…” (2 Corinthians 11:27).
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6 Steps to Killing Sin in Time Stewardship

It’s crucial that we stare at our time stewardship shortcomings and call them what they are: sins. But recognizing and naming our sin is only half the battle. Now we seek to put our sins to death (Romans 8:13).

Desiring God’s website has uploaded a recent seminar from John Piper. In it, he shares some insight he gained as he took a good, hard look at his own sin. He speaks on the importance of acting in the power of the Spirit to defeat our sin – not passively sitting back and expecting the Spirit to spontaneously eliminate each and every sin from our hearts and lives.
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The Little-Itty-Bitty Sin of Wasting Time

I had some work projects I knew I should be focusing on, but I was procrastinating. “An internet game for a few minutes and then I’ll get back to work – honest.”

Deep down I knew it was wrong – the Christlike thing would have been to suck it up and get down to business. Certainly not idling my time away on some game.

But oh well. It’s not like it’s a big deal…right?

Right?

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