What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
How can you build productivity into your life? Manage your financial resources according to God’s plan. In the Bible, there is a correlation between a lack of productivity and financial bondage. Here is why: people who are constantly enslaved by money worries–wondering how they are going to pay the rent or how they are going to fend off a bill collector–do not have the freedom to pursue their God-given purpose in life. That’s why God’s plan for every Christian is not necessarily to be wealthy, but His plan is for us to be financially free. When you follow God’s principles about spending, debt, giving, and saving, you’ll be free to pursue your God-given purpose in life. That’s why Paul said, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another” (Romans 13:8). In other words, don’t be a slave to anything so that you can be free to serve God. If you don’t have financial freedom, you will not have that freedom to pursue your God-given purpose. Instead, you’ll be resigned to live a life, as Thoreau said, of “quiet desperation.”
You must discipline yourself for a productive life. If we are honest, we would admit that most of us have a little bit of laziness inside of us. If given our way, we will take the easy way instead of the hard way, so we need to discipline ourselves. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul said, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
The final step for developing productivity is to make sure you define productivity correctly. How would you prioritize these issues in your life: your family, your work, your finances, and your relationship with God? Most Christians would say, “My relationship with God is the most important.” But you wouldn’t know that by looking at their calendars or where they spend their efforts or their money. Most of the time, God gets the leftovers of our life–the leftover time, the leftover money, and the leftover energy. And rarely is there anything much left over in those areas of our lives. What a tragedy it would be to develop productivity, being focused on your life purpose, and then realize you had neglected the most important thing in life–your relationship with God.
The Bible says when we are called home to be with the Lord, everything we have done will be left behind, and every material possession will be burned up by fire. That’s why, as someone has said, “The greatest use of a life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Jesus said it this way in Matthew 16:26: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Productivity Over Laziness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Henry David Thoreau, “Walden,” chapter 1, originally published 1854.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.