One of my favorites topics as an individual is relationships. I love talking about openness and seeing how that vulnerability creates a deeper connection with the people around me. As a man, one of my favorite things to be is productive. I like to see how efficient I can be and something about operating like a well oiled machine just makes me feel confident. Whether that is getting all my emails cleared at work or finishing that training deck, getting all the house chores done, spending time with everyone in my family and just being driven by that. I like being productive. It makes me feel like I am the man! Like I’m just owning life. But I feel that way because these things are easy. They are merely transactional. I do them all day, every day, without thought. That’s why I can breeze through them.
The productive task I am most proud of is my ability to share my feelings without hesitation, but well thought out. This means I think about why I feel the way I feel, I think about what needs to change or what I need to change to make this feeling productive, but I am not afraid to share it and use others to help me. It’s productive. It is more difficult, and that’s why I am proud of it.
Have you ever thought about why we are productive? Like what is in us that makes us this way? How do we know the difference of a productive person versus a lazy person? How do we even know there is such a thing as “lazy?”
We know God is productive by looking at three things:
- Who He Is-He worked 6 days straight until completion before he took a break! It says a lot about his character and drive. It’s not surprising to see where that same drive comes from in people since we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). It’s how people even know the difference of lazy vs. productive. It’s wired into us. We know how to be productive and we even feel guilty when we are not and we call ourselves and others lazy.
- What He Does-Isaiah 55:10-11 says “the rain and the snow come down from the Heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause grain to grow-producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same for my word. I send it out and it always produces fruit.
- How He Influences-The Father influenced Jesus to teach people how to be more productive in their own lives. He knew people would lose quality of life by worrying and comparing so in Matthew 6:27, Jesus influenced all of us when he challenged us, saying, “can all of your worries ADD (does it produce anything?) a single moment to your life?”
Alright we get it. God is productive. What does that mean for me and my relationships?
I see so many people go through troubles or negative feelings with their spouses or friends but they just won’t address it. Talk about a halt in productivity! Some of us even develop an addiction to work to avoid dealing with our problems. Guilty. At times in my life I would stay away from home and continue working because going home meant I would have to face myself. I might have to face my spouse, or my parents that I hurt. It’s easier for me to just work more. It’s transactional..I don’t have to think about it. Then I’ll wear myself out and deal with the problem “later.” Where does this come from? Why do we do this?
Have you ever thought how much more productive you would be if you had a clear conscience? How much more productive you would be if you were excited to get home after a normal workday? You would be so motivated to take that productive high home and share that energy with your family that you wouldn’t have time to work all night. You are halting your own production by simply knocking the transactional tasks out of the park. Those tasks are necessary and they sure do feel good!…but the true sustenance of your life and joy will come from facing those tougher issues. They are where we grow. It’s no surprise those tougher issues always have to do with your emotions, your feelings, your hurts, your wants. It is what makes us, us. These are the things that alter our moods. They are hard to confess and hard to talk about because that would require that we believe in ourselves and we love ourselves enough to think that if we tell that person we’re thinking about that they will care enough about me to help me. I have to believe that I matter and that I’m cared for. It’s scary. You put yourself out there not knowing if you will get the same response you have in your mind. You don’t want to add disappointment to that feeling of fear.
But that’s what we have to do and that’s how we grow. We have to talk about our emotions to grow from them. There are two things we can do to be more productive in ourselves. We want that constant cycling of emotions to keep ourselves fresh and to keep growing.
- Confess To God-1 John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from wickedness.” Facing your problems, calling yourself out, reaching out..this is how you move on and grow.
- Confess To Each Other-James 5:16 says to confess our sins to each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Isn’t it true that if you are feeling something negative against someone that it’s on you to confess? Aren’t they the ones in right standing? Aren’t we cowering beneath them until we know they are going to forgive us and get level with them? Talk to them. Tell them what it is. You have to if you want to move forward and keep producing. The right thing would be for them to use that power to produce that wonderful result-a connection with you. Results come from action: sharing, talking, expressing, trying. Holding within is not an action and because of that, it cannot produce.
Look at your life today and ask yourself how can I impact my family if I’m more productive here? How can I impact my job, my church, my friends, what I do with my life for God? I believe that God desires productivity because it is part of who He is. Since you are like Him, it is part of you too. So be it!