Divinely Defined: Productivity
I can feel it. The pressure to do more and be more all while looking incredible! Can you? We hear messages all the time propagating a busy lifestyle meant to motivate or possibly guilt us into keeping up with the pace.
Don’t get me wrong I’m all about becoming who we were created to be and I’m not advocating a life of idleness. In my experience though I have met many people, and have been one myself, who are very busy, burnt out in some ways and barely keeping up. When questioned on the reason for this state it’s never chalked up to living life to the fullest. Instead it is usually relayed as a necessary part of “the daily grind”.
All this effort…and for what?
There are certainly seasons in our lives that are busy and complicated but what I’m talking about is the feeling of being driven to do more and be more because of underlying emotional triggers.
I’m speaking to the inability to rest; the lack of permission in our hearts to slow down and truly discover life in light of relationship with God our Father.
Brene Brown is a well-known researcher and author whose work on vulnerability has shed considerable light on a possible motivator for our over-stretched society. In her book, “Daring Greatly” she explains that a lot of what is driving us in our society can be the underlying shame-based fear of never being “good enough”. Good enough to be loved; to be noticed; to be heard. Sadly, this shame based culture is just as prevalent in the church as in the world with slightly different emphases.
The sense of not being “good enough” is often a product of shame and comparison which are cyclical in nature and wreak much havoc on the human condition. Driven by the voice of this duo we end up with a twisted view of what it really means to be “productive” in the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God displays inherent value for us rather than the system of earned value found in the world which is determined by the degree to which each person can prove their worth.
God created man with so much love and value for us and simple relationship with us. He punctuated the statement, “You can’t and do not need to earn my love” with the cross sending Jesus out of love to redeem us (John 3:16).
The only thing that drives out the question, “am I good enough to be loved?” is being filled with God’s love and value which answers “You are loved already!”
God wants to build this environment of His love and value in our hearts in order to insulate us against the lies coming from all sides. Being a highly motivated and disciplined individual myself (qualities usually praised except when they remove me from the simple pursuit of His presence…) I have heard Him whisper a time or two, “stop doing and just be with Me…we’ll get to the doing later”. How much I/we do not recognize the value He places on relationship with us. The Israelite's also learned over and over again how much more value God places on why we do what we do rather than just what we do (Hos.6:6; Is.58).
Living in God-defined productivity doesn’t mean we never “do”. It means we never have to “do” in order to feel like we matter.
Ironically, in Christianity sometimes our “doing” has the potential to cause us to miss out on what God is really asking us to do and become. It can be masked under the heading of “servanthood” but true sons and daughters of God will always serve from a place of freedom not driven by shame or control.
From a place of inherent value we can work with our Father in the joy of getting to know Him and discovering His true purpose for us. We need to stop and ask Him what He really wants from us today. There have been several times in my life I’ve had to reassess my priorities and put them in the light of His word.
Every one of us is created with purpose and designed with destiny. We are all made and empowered by His Spirit to positively impact the world around us. As we become divinely defined we can let go of our cultures rat race and instead spread the kingdom of our God and Father which is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17). We can spread His love to a world that desperately needs it but only after we are intimately acquainted with His love ourselves.
I hope today you hear His voice of affirmation and receive His love for you. Let Him re-direct your focus to what brings life and true productivity in your life.
I discuss what it looks like to serve God from a place of rest in Sonship in detail in my new book, "Servant Sons & Daughters". Learn more if you like : here