At some point in our lives, most of us have woken up to a sickening feeling that we are doing many things but succeeding at few of them. Our responsibilities in life have eclipsed our ability to deliver on them. In an effort to feel productive we have taken on many responsibilities but are failing at most of them.
The world pushes us to find something that fulfills us, that gives inner satisfaction. But I soon realized, it does not matter what I think is productive. I can be very productive according to my own definition and completely miss the mark.
When we feel that guilt, our temptation is to go for a quick fix. We look for the Buzzfeed approach: five quick tips that will change your life forever. But that approach doesn’t get to the root of the matter.
If we search scripture, we find that what God has called us to is to do good for others in that way bring glory to God. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructs, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16, ESV).
God is glorified through our lives when we live those lives toward doing good for others, and that’s why biblical productivity matters.
A Christian’s productivity should not be motivated by the desire to feel good about themselves, or even to make other people happy. It must be motivated by God’s call to live our lives toward that great goal of doing good to others and bringing glory to Him. When that becomes your focus, it will drive you to true, biblical productivity.
So a biblical definition of productivity is effectively stewarding gifts, talents, time, energy, enthusiasm—everything, for the good of others and glory of God. Everything. Whatever God has given you, whether it is your spiritual gifts, your innate talent, or the ebb and flow of your energy through the day; the minutes and hours God gives you every day, every week through your life.
And this means that although our goal is the same, how that works itself out in our lives may look vastly different. What are the things that God has made you specifically responsible for? That will vary for each one of us, but the great goal is the same: We must aim everything toward this great goal of doing good to others, understanding that as we do that, it brings glory to God.