The Tyranny of Productivity

This week, I'm joining the Five Minute Friday write up. This is a community of writers who write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. This week the prompt is "Goal".

I love goals. I love to create a project and go for it.

When I was training for a half marathon, checking off my mini goals as I stumbled towards the half gave me an immense amount of joy. But as I sit here in my Sabbatical, with my only goal to ponder and pray, I’ve begun to realize how much I rely on my ability to accomplish tasks to give me a sense of identity.

Despite that fact that I preach that our identity comes from being God’s children, I’ve realized that without my to-do list, I don’t know who I am. Without telling people, what I accomplished today – or better yet having people tell me how I inspired them, helped them to see God in a new way – I don’t know who I am.

For so long goals have helped me to navigate my life, but I wonder if, while being productive, I’ve lost my identity. I am not the accomplisher of tasks. My life is not measured by the check marks I check off on my to-do list. My identity is in Christ and Christ alone.

And while I truly believe that goals are helpful – and I’m looking forward to getting back to checking off lists – I am glad for this time of fasting from productivity so I can be freed from the tyranny of goals.

What do you use to define your identity? How can you take a fast from that so that you can see your identity in Christ?

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – Corinthians 12:9


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