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To Be Fruitful Is Better Than To Be Productive
Keep Your Effort on the Work Not the Process
A friend of mine recently told me to focus on fruitfulness over productivity.
Which struck a cord with me as one could imagine it would, since I refine my workflows and processes.
I have a few small courses around productivity and how I stay productive.
I even have a fresh course in the works around digital journaling as an alternative to the traditional pen and paper style.
Fruitfulness, and being fruitful, is a common terminology in the Christian community.
But, I must confess, I don’t really know what it means to be fruitful outside of the command God gives us in relation to childbearing.
The Bible brings up fruitfulness in the very first chapter of Genesis. There He commands the animals to fill the land and sea.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
(Genesis 1:22 KJV)
Psalm 128 tells us of blessings to people who fear the Lord.
Thy wife *shall be* as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
(Psalm 128:3 KJV)
These are great, but still limit my understanding of what it means to be fruitful.
In the New Testament, we see two verses where the Bible uses the word fruitful.
Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
(Acts 14:17 KJV)
Here we see the abundance of God’s creation with the fruitful seasons, rain from heaven, food, and gladness.
Then we see Colossians chapter one use the word fruitful in relation to doing “good work”.
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
(Colossians 1:10 KJV)
This verse stands out because of its specific relation to “good work”. Let’s see what the Greek word translated here means.
The term is “being fruitful” and what we are trying to figure out.
The word is καρποφορέω, and the King James Bible translates this word three ways. To “bring forth fruit”, to “bear fruit”, and to “be fruitful”.
The Strong’s Concordance tells us that this word means “to be fertile (literally or figuratively) or to be fruitful.”
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon tells us that this Greek word, as used in Colossians 1:10, pertains to reaping fruit.
Lots of fruit and not super helpful.
So let’s see how the Websters 1828 Dictionary defines the word fruitful.
“Very productive; producing fruit in abundance.”
(Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Looking at cross references for “fruitful” we see Titus 3:14.
And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
The phrase “necessary uses” sticks out to me here. To be fruitful is to create something useful and necessary.
Let’s contrast that with just productivity. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “productive”:
“Having the power of producing”
(Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
The King James Bible does not contain the word “productive”. So we’ll have to stick to Webster’s definition on this one.
It seems productivity is only the means to which we can create or do. While being fruitful is actually doing the good work set before us.
Focusing on productivity will only get us so far. It’s only a fraction of the battle to having true fruitfulness. We shouldn't only try to be more productive.
Our productivity must turn into fruitfulness. Doing good work for our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.
All our systems, and apps, and journals are good to keep us on track. They help us focus on the tasks at hand. But, if we never execute, we will never be Biblically fruitful.
Brothers, I pray this inkling stirs up your desire to do for Christ. Use the courses I created to get started. Then use those tools to do good works for our King Jesus.
Attention: My Brother in Christ
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