Productivity. It’s one of those “trendy” words that have been around for a while, but still are “in”. You might have seen posts like “how to be more productive”, you may have downloaded a “productivity app” or even read books on the topic.
As Christians, it is always important to look at anything society says through a biblical lens. Before we do that, though, we must always be sure to clarify what we mean when we use certain words.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, “to be productive” means: resulting in or providing a large amount or supply of something and “productivity” is: the ability to do as much work as possible in a particular period.
In other words, the more you manage to get done in one day, the better.
What the Bible says about time management
We have probably all read this verse so, so many times: “[Make] the best use of the time” (Ephesians 5:16a). The Bible tells us to use our time wisely. Time is a gift from God and what we make of it, is our gift back to Him.
When I was younger, one of my favorite quotes was: “Time here on earth is limited. Use it or lose it.” I sadly cannot remember by whom it is.
From what we can see until now, it looks like the Bible supports the idea of productivity. But we must go deeper. We must look at the One who alone is perfect.
Did Jesus live a “productive” life?
To answer this question, we must once again remind ourselves of the definition of the word. Productivity is “the ability to do as much work as possible in a particular period”. Was that the way Jesus lived? Did Jesus do as much as possible in a day?
No. We can see at many occasions that he didn’t. Even when there was lots and lots to do, Jesus stopped for the one. My favorite example of this is in Mark 5.
Jesus is busy. He is surrounded by crowds upon crowds of people. In addition to that, he must hurry to get to a certain place. An important man is waiting for him. That man is Jairus. But on his way, something, or rather someone, holds him up. A woman.
And Jesus stops and turns. He has a lot to do, and yet, Jesus “wastes” time on the woman.
The difference between productivity and using our time wisely
The Bible tells us to use our time wisely. It does not tell us to do as much as possible in one day. The question we should ask ourselves again and again should not be How much can I fit into my schedule today?
Instead, the question should be What does God want me to do today? If we do what Christ wants us to do, some days it may look like we are “wasting” time on the wrong things. Our peers might condemn us for that.
In those situations, however, you can remember that you are in good company. Jesus did that as well. He “wasted” time on the right people instead of being productive in the wrong things. The truth is that time spent on what God wants us to do is never wasted.
So, dear sister, go stop for the one. Go “waste” time on the people around you. Go spend your time wisely… not productively.
Stay tuned for part two coming next week! :)
Hey friends! I'm Livy, founder and designer of CLM. First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus, and besides that I am a ministry leader, small business operator and writer. I love putting words to paper, going to Starbucks, photography, connecting with friends and much more. This is a place for me to share encouragement with you all. I hope you will enjoy your stay. :)