What Is Your Contribution?
We recently transitioned from August, the month of Potentials into September, the month of Productivity. A byproduct of utilizing potential is productivity. Productivity is the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services. To be productive, you must be effective in bringing about growth, fruitfulness; yield results, benefits or profits. True productivity entails making the most of our God given opportunities and talents for the glory of God and to benefit others.
Although we tend to measure how productive someone is by their possessions, productivity is not about attaining material wealth. Productivity is not about being busy; you can be busy all day and produce nothing. You can also be busy engaging in the wrong things. i.e. – spending hours on the phone browsing and sharing gossip. Being productive means making the most out of what you have been given in all areas of your life. Productivity from God’s perspective means doing the right thing. Your work, must bring glory to God. (1 Cor. 10:21; Colossians 3:23-24). As Christians, our measure of productivity differs from that of the world’s. Though you may be productive, was the method proper? Would God be pleased? Saul of Tarsus (Paul) believed he was productive in his tirade and persecution of Christians, but his work did not bring glory to God.
God has placed certain talents, gifts, qualities within you that He expects you to harness and use for his glory and for the benefit of others. The Bible is replete with examples evincing that God expects us to be productive in our work. From the onset of the Bible, we encounter a God who is productive; the God who works, the God who saw that the Earth was formless and worked to make it fruitful –productive. Like God, we also are expected to be productive and fruitful.
Genesis 1:28 states, God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” In this scripture, we are given five actions: be fruitful (grow), multiply, replenish (fill), subdue (dominate), have dominion (control, govern). All these require work, action! As Adam’s role was to work and care for the garden (Gen 2:15), we also have a duty to work and be productive. God approves of hard work, He abhors idleness and laziness 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
God has made provision for the tools we need to accomplish our tasks. God will never give you a mandate without giving you the tools to accomplish it. God wants us to be fruitful; fruitfulness is a sign that you are a disciple of Christ. (John15:8). As Christians, God expects us to grow; growth is evident when we bear fruits of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23).
Productivity must permeate every aspect of your life. As a Christian, you must produce after your kind. Sheep beget sheep; the fruit of a Christian is another Christian! Share the Gospel of Christ in order to produce more Christians.
Living unproductively isn’t wise. Ephesians 5:15-17- Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Titus 3:14-Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. Productivity requires sacrifice. You must give it your all, sacrifice time, effort, comfort and instant gratification. (John 12:24)
The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) teaches us to add value to what God has given us. God wants us to make use of our time, skills, gifts and talents for His sake. Remaining idle or being productive as it suits you isn’t Christ-like. What have you done with the gifts you have? To the faithful servants who worked with their talents to produce more, the master said- “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:24)
The key to prospering in God is being productive, for He will bless that which your hands produce. Deut. 28:12- “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”
Beware of things that hinder productivity, like laziness. The unwillingness to work will inhibit productivity. Fear can render you unproductive. Don’t be afraid to use your talent, or start a business or take on that job. Don’t be like the servant with one talent who hid his talent out of fear. (Matthew 25:14-30) Past mistakes can cause you to be unproductive; a failed attempt should not stop you from progressing into productivity. Your dislike for the options you’ve been presented can be a hindrance to productivity. Do what you have to do until you find what you want to do. You may not like your job or a given situation; still, work diligently and productively at it for the glory of God. Seize every opportunity to be productive.