The Idol of Productivity
Go, go go. Do do do.
Keep striving, never ever stop. There’s no rest for the weary.
Hurry, hustle. More. More. More. Go. Go. Go.
Girls, does reading any of these things resonate with you as they do me? We’ve all heard these things from others and we probably even tell ourselves these things. This IS our culture. A culture of striving, earning, never stopping. It’s so hard to hear these messages and not fall prey to them because they are EVERYWHERE, sometimes even in the church.
Girls, hear me first, God does not call us to be lazy or just sit around and let everything just happen to us. We have to be active participants in life. In fact, quite the contrary, just listen to these verses. 1 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Further, Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that to, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” I love the clarification the Enduring Word Commentary gives us here, “We know that Paul did not mean “work” as to earn your own salvation.” Such a statement contradicts the whole of Paul’s gospel. What Paul did mean is to call the Philippians to put forth real effort into their Christian lives. This is not to work for in a sense of accomplishing it, but to work out their salvation - to see it evident in every area of their lives, to activate this salvation God freely gave them.
At the same time, we have to take the Bible as a whole. While God does call us to work hard, he also calls us to rest and to be still with him and not live for the idol of productivity because ultimately, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13
You might be thinking what? Idol? Oh yes friends, we all have so many idols that we don’t even know about. I would encourage you to ask the Lord to show you any idols you have? We’re going to be talking about a lot of idols in the upcoming weeks, but today we are going to dive into the idol of productivity.
I know, this is a little hard to grasp. How are we God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) doers of the word not merely hearers deceiving ourselves (James 1:22), His workmanship doing the things He planned in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). And yet, in His goodness, His sovereignty, His mercy and ultimately His care for us, He calls us to rest and even modeled this for us Himself. “On the 7th day, God rested from His work.”
How good is God to show us once again my friends, the way to life and model it himself. Work and rest. Not only rest or only work, but both.
We are going to explore more soon about how we work from rest, but I would encourage you to ask the Lord, right now do I have the idol of productivity active in my life? If you do, it can truly suck the joy out of life and make you feel like a human doing and God created you as a human being not human doing.
Oh and dear one, he has so much more for you! As C.S. Lewis said in The Weight of Glory, "It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to make mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."