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Busy, busy

Years ago, I heard about a social study that was conducted, measuring people’s perceptions about friendship. The study found out that people who watch a lot of TV had fewer friends than they realized.

In other words, seeing shows on TV gave them the impression that they had more friendships and relationships in their lives than they really do. Social media, if anything, has only compounded and expanded that effect.

Another byproduct we see from consuming a lot of media, like TV or Facebook, is to give a person the sensation that they are busier than they actually are. While we do live in a fast-paced world, much of our busyness is self-created. One pastor said, “We create our own treadmills,” and he was right.

When Christians feel busy, we often let primary matters slide. Consider prayer and daily quiet times. When we feel busy, that oftentimes is the first thing to go. Just as dangerous, when we feel busy, we stop sharing the Gospel.

As evangelist and pastor Ed Newton recently said at the State Evangelism Conference, when we get too busy, we start viewing people that God puts in our path as interruptions, instead of opportunities to share.

So whether you are truly busy, or just perceive it to be that way, what can we Christians do about it?

// Prioritize

Jesus said “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). Too often we are seeking other things before God’s Kingdom. His Kingdom consists of righteousness and of people whom He has redeemed.

If we reorganize our priorities, in the forms of time, money and energy, our priorities will look more Kingdom-focused. That means we might have a few less hobbies and entertainments, but we will be more useful in the hands of the King.

// Minimize

How many hours a day do you spend looking down at your cell phone, with no specific purpose or intent? It’s just sort of there, and you look at it habitually.

Stop and ask, “What things in my daily life are distracting me from my greater purposes?” Truly, tools of technology can be a means of sharing community with others, and even sharing our faith, but too often, we fail to minimize distractions in the digital world that take us away from the people God has placed right in front of you and beside you.

// Maximize

Daily Bible reading and prayer—or quiet time—has become the tell-tale of the vital personal walk with the Lord. Anthony Jordan once said, “If my quiet time wanes, I wane.” His message is simple. We need to maximize time we are spending with the Lord. When we are focused on God’s Word and time with Him, we will see more clearly and with His eyes. If we maximize the good things on a daily basis, our lives will overflow as a blessing to others.

As technology and entertainment expand and take away from our shrinking attention spans, it is mission critical that Christians set priorities, minimize time spent on trivial things and maximize time spent on weighty matters.

In doing these things, we will go from being a busy blur that people can scarcely see to an abiding follower of Jesus Christ that bears much good fruit.

Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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