Getting Things Done from the Perspective of the Gospel by Matt Perman
Productivity is an issue that affects all of us every day. Who hasn’t been overwhelmed with email, frustrated they reached the end of the day without completing anything on their to-do list, or procrastinated yet again on starting that important task?
There are lots of good strategies and tips out there for managing ourselves better. But there’s one thing we often overlook: what does God have to say about getting things done and being productive? This is an important question because, as Christians, we are to think about all areas of life—not just some—from a biblical perspective. And since the gospel is at the heart of the Bible, we are to think about all areas of life in a gospel-centered way.
So what happens when we look at the issue of time management and getting things done from the perspective of the gospel? A surprising insight emerges.
Motives Over Strategies
The first thing to know is that God doesn’t look down on productivity tips and tactics. He’s the one who ultimately created them, after all (the good ones at least).
But being productive requires more than the right tips and tactics. When we take God into account, we see the motives in our productivity matter even more than our strategies. Most productivity approaches don’t address that aspect. Yet it’s essential to living a truly productive life, for if God exists then he’s the ultimate judge of whether anything we do is productive (Matt. 25:14-30; Rom. 14:12). And he weighs the heart.
The guiding principle in all the things we get done should be the good of others. Just as Jesus put our needs before his own, even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:5–11), so we are to seek the good of others in all we do by putting theirs before ours (Phil. 2:3–4). And we are to do this from acceptance with God on the basis of the gospel, not for acceptance with him (Eph. 2:8–10).
In the end, love is to be our supreme motive in all that we get done. As Paul simply put it, “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14; cf. Gal. 5:6).
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SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition