Have you ever felt like you’re spinning your wheels—you’re busy all the time but not accomplishing much of anything? I know what it’s like to get to the end of the day exhausted but not sure what I accomplished even though I was active all day long.
When we feel this way, it’s easy to fall into a frustrating cycle of being extremely busy but failing to actually achieve our goals.
It’s interesting to me that there is no scripture in the Bible where God commands us—or ever even suggests to us—that we should just be busy. But there are scriptures that encourage us to make the most of our time and be “fruitful,” or effective, in the way we live.
God has given us one of the most valuable gifts—the gift of time—and it’s important for us to use it wisely. Because whatever we spend our time on, once it’s spent, we cannot get it back.
When Dave and I were first married, I was not a peaceful, content person, and I would get upset very easily. I remember Dave saying to me one day, “Wouldn’t it be awful if Jesus came back today and you spent the last day of your life on this earth angry?”
It really made me stop and think about how I was wasting my time. And it caused me to seek God’s wisdom and direction for the way I live my daily life.
Partner with God
One of the things that can keep us busy rather than effective is what the Bible refers to as “dead works.” When we get impatient and try to make something happen that only God can make happen, we are producing dead works.
We can see this plainly with Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. They wanted to have a child and God had promised them that they would have a child. But they got tired of waiting and came up with a plan of their own that didn’t work (see Genesis 17).
Many times, we do the exact same thing. When we want to change something, we can find a thousand different ways to try to make it happen. I can remember hearing teachings on the mouth and I would try to control my mouth on my own.
First, I would say too much and then I wouldn’t say anything at all. I finally realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed to get God involved. John 15:5 says, “…Apart from me you can do nothing.” We need to lean on God for help.
Check Your Motive
Motives are very important to God. Why we do something is even more important than what we do. That’s why it’s so important for us to take the time to stop and ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing.
Matthew 6:1 (AMP) says, Be [very] careful not to do your good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.
In other words, when we do things with a wrong motive, we may get acknowledgement from people. But that is not as satisfying as knowing we’re pleasing God and accomplishing His purpose, which has eternal value.
The bottom line is, if we aren’t doing what God has asked us to do, then we need to rethink whether or not we should be doing it.
Identify Unproductive Areas
Another way to be more effective is to take a look at what we’re putting our time into and the results we are getting. God never meant for us to go through life feeling tired, exhausted, run down, and missing opportunities He has placed before us. He wants us to enjoy our life and experience His best every day.
We all have 24 hours in the day, and God wants us to make the most of that time. If we really want to do that, we need to learn to live a balanced life.
This comes by asking God—and relying on the Holy Spirit—to help us do what we should do, when we need to do it, rather than following our emotions and feelings.
I want to encourage you to start asking God every day, “What can I do for You today?” God loves when we ask for His help, and when we make His priorities our priorities, He will start surprising us with new opportunities to be a blessing to others.
John 15:16 says, …I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit….God chose you, and He wants you to live a life that reflects Him.
With God’s help, instead of being stressed out with busyness that gets us nowhere, we can learn how to make the most of our time and live a fruitful life that we truly enjoy.