Sabtu, 22 Oktober 2016

10 Differences Between a Believer and a Christian

10 Differences Between a Believer and a Christian

10 Differences Between a Believer and a Christian
“Warning: This might shake up your faith.”
Warning: This might shake up your faith.
Here are 10 differences between a believer and a Christian.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:19
1. A believer believes in Jesus. A Christian follow his commands.
2. A believer goes to church on holidays. A Christian knows that a church community is the paradigm for their faith.
3. A believer reads their Bible when things get tough. A Christian reads their Bible regularly.
4. A believer prays when things get tough. A Christian gives thanks no matter the circumstance.
5. A believer twists the Bible to fit his or her lifestyle. A Christian works to make his or her lifestyle resemble the teachings of the Bible.
6. A believer will sacrifice when it’s convenient. A Christian will sacrifice no matter the potential outcome.
7. A believer tithes when there is no risk. A Christian will tithe no matter the risk.
8. A believer conforms under the pressure of culture. A Christian holds fast against temptation.
9. A believer will share their faith when it’s comfortable. A Christian will share his or her faith regardless of the scenario.
10. A believer knows about Jesus. A Christian knows Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior.
Jarrid Wilson

Jarrid Wilson

Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor and author relentlessly sharing the love of Jesus.

Perry Noble Addresses His Fall: “Four Areas Where I Was Wrong”

Perry Noble Addresses His Fall: “Four Areas Where I Was Wrong”

Perry Noble: “I want to say, once more, I am so sorry I let you down.”
First of all, I want to thank each one of you who have sent a letter or card, left a comment on a social media channel, or seen me in public and stopped to offer some encouragement—to say I have appreciated your kind words would be a dramatic understatement.
Several people have asked how I am doing and have asked for an update.
I spent last week with my counselor and was able to make major progress towards healing. In meeting with him, he helped me to dive in and discover the areas where I clearly dropped the ball. After we discussed this he and I both felt it would be beneficial to share these things as it helps in my healing process—but also so that some of you will not make the same mistakes that I did.
Honestly, the list is probably a lot longer than just four things; however, these are the areas where I have clearly identified making EXTREMELY unwise decisions
1 – I chose isolation over community
I was a hypocrite—I preached, “You can’t do life alone,” and then went out and lived the opposite.
Yes, the Scriptures do say we should seek solitude from time to time.
However, solitude is refreshing, isolation is destructive.
Isolation is where self-pity dominated my thinking, thus justifying my abuse of alcohol.
Isolation is where self-doubt dominated my emotions, causing me to believe I just could not carry the weight anymore, and alcohol was necessary for me to make it through another day.
Isolation is where self-hatred dominated my mentality—I hated myself, literally HATED myself for doing what I was doing, but believed the lie that this was just the way things were and there was no way it could ever get better.
I chose isolation—all the while knowing that a strong community of people who really loved me would rally around me and walk with me through the valley I was in.
Hebrews 10:24-25 were memory verses I knew, but not life verses I applied—and the results were devastating.
2 – I chose alcohol over Lucretia and Charisse
This one hurts so bad!
Lucretia and I, like so many couples, have faced challenges in our marriage for many years. After a season of walking through these challenges, I became discouraged and, instead of asking for help, began to overmedicate on alcohol. At first it was once or twice a week; however, over time it literally became something I “had to have” every evening.
I was sick—deceived by sin, alcohol and myself. I justified this by saying I needed it to take the edge off, to help me relax, to help me deal with the pressure at home. Honestly, I knew the entire time I was using it as an excuse to zone out at home, thus causing me to neglect my role as a husband and a father. As I look back on making this foolish exchange, waves of self-condemnation crash into my soul. I know I’ve been forgiven for the sin, but I must now deal with the consequences.
Lucretia and I both love each other and are really trying to make our marriage work. Your continued prayers are so appreciated.
But, before I move on, let me beg married couples…please don’t cease fighting for your marriage by investing your time and attention into other things. Maybe it’s not alcohol, maybe it’s a hobby, or porn, or friendships…or even your kids. Take it from me—the temporary feeling of relief is not worth the long-term pain of the consequences.
3 – I chose control over relationships
I was “successful” at work, I wasn’t successful at home, so I chose to put more and more time into a place where I felt like I was in control rather than addressing the out of control area of my life.
When my family and I would go on vacation, I would “control” my schedule and not actually enjoy the vacation with them because I had to make sure I got up early, got in a workout, had a quiet time and answered emails. Doing so allowed me to feel “in control” of the day—and now, looking back, I realize how out of control I really was. Because of this type of behavior, I missed spending time with my girls, choosing instead to answer emails, none of which I can recall. What I pretended was important was only an illusion.
For those who struggle with control—it’s my prayer you will understand (as I am understanding) that control is the biggest illusion in the universe. We do not control when we were born, who our parents are, where we were born, the weather, the stock market, the maniac drivers out on the road or the day we step into eternity.
It’s in this season I am really beginning to understand and embrace what Jesus said in Matthew 5:3 (MSG): “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.”
4 – I chose silence over crying out for help
I was hurting, deeply hurting.
In doing so I allowed sinful thoughts to exponentially multiply  in my mind, thus impacting my mind in ways that were both destructive and harmful. I believed the deceptive lies the enemy would whisper to me such as, “No one will understand,” or, “You are the only one who has this issue,” or, “If you tell people what’s really going on they will abandon you.”
If you are in a bad place, I mean you are living through hell on earth—my prayer for you is you would make the immediate decision to tell someone ASAP. Because, you are not the only one, people will not abandon you and, believe it or not, more people will understand than you could ever imagine.
However, I chose to remain silent, which propelled me with light speed toward the coping mechanism of alcohol abuse.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. I was weak—I did not ask for help, and the end result was a train wreck. What happened to me doesn’t have to happen to you—you can ask for help today.
Once more, thanks to everyone who has offered prayers, support and encouragement as I’ve journeyed through this.
What’s next? I’m not quite sure—I’m praying about this as well as seeking the counsel of others whom I deeply love, respect and know love me. I will keep you guys posted.
And for those who are at NewSpring—I want to say, once more, I am so sorry I let you down. Being the pastor of NewSpring Church was one of the greatest privileges of my life. The things we got to see Jesus do over the past 16 years were simply miraculous. It was an honor to stand beside you as we got to see Jesus do way more than we ever asked for or imagined—Godspeed to you as you continue to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God.
Pastor P
Perry Noble

Perry Noble

Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 26,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state. You can read all of Perry’s unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at Don’t worry, he holds nothing back.

Carl Lentz Explains the Premise of Christianity to Oprah Winfrey

Carl Lentz Explains the Premise of Christianity to Oprah Winfrey

Pastor Carl Lentz sat down recently with Oprah Winfrey to explain the premise of Christianity. Winfrey’s take away from their conversation is that Lentz focuses on the relationship aspect of God, not the religious aspect.
“Your goal is to transform the way people experience their relationship with God. Would you say?” Winfrey offers. Lentz agrees with that statement, then expounds: “People waste so much time doing it in their own strength and they can’t figure out why it’s not working.”
Lentz is the head pastor of Hillsong Church in New York city. He says, “I pray churches like ours can give people a clearer view” of what having a relationship with God looks like.
Lentz then goes on to explain what he believes the key to developing a relationship with God is: “I think the premise of Christianity is looking in the mirror going ‘All right, I’m not going to make it. I can’t do enough. God I need you.’ In that moment, I believe there’s a rescue, a salvation, that you can’t counterfeit any other way.”
He says, If you admit your need, repent and “hand over the keys,” God can “do this better than you can.”
At [1:16], the clip ends and what follows is information about Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sunday series. This segment on Winfrey’s show is known for having people of all different faiths and persuasions on to be interviewed by Winfrey on the subject of spirituality.
Lentz is known for being the pastor of a handful of celebrities, and his church is known for drawing large crowds. In our increasingly post-Christian society that is becoming more and more disillusioned with traditional religion, perhaps Lentz’s words on the emphasis on relationship with God over religious practices or a works mindset will help those viewing Winfrey’s show to reconsider their stance on Christianity.

Lest you think Lentz just went on Winfrey’s show to offer a positive feeling message lacking Biblical truth, in the next clip he goes on to talk about the evidence we see in the Bible of Jesus being the only way of salvation. “I know people who think Jesus is an option; he’s a good guy; he was a moralist. I don’t see him like that. I saw Jesus as salvation,” Lentz says.
To Lentz, Jesus is “the answer. He’s the sacrifice; he’s the atonement.” People sometimes get confused with the gospel, though, because “it is good news, but it begins with bad news. We’re all in trouble.” This is the part that people get hung up on: We have to understand that Jesus saved us from our own evil-ness. We have to swallow the pill, so to speak, that says we are sinners in need of salvation, and we cannot find or bring about that salvation in our own strength.

Finally, in the next clip Lentz seems to address the prosperity gospel. “Once you realize that God has saved your soul, he doesn’t owe me another thing. If God never did another thing in my life—Jesus rescuing my soul was enough.”

Why The Church Must Join the Next Generation

tom sine v3 2016 changemaking

First the Good News

God seems to be at work not only through people of faith, but also people of compassion, who are bringing welcome change to our world in what some are calling an “innovation revolution.” In the last ten years there has been a veritable explosion of new forms of social enterprise and urban empowerment all over the planet.
The good news gets even better. Much of this new “changemaking” celebration is being led by young innovators from Gen Y (those born between 1981 and 2014). Since they are the first digital generation, they are much more aware of the daunting economic, racial and environmental challenges facing people all over our world. Most importantly, a surprising number of them are determined to do something about it.

A Greater Profit

For example, Katie Metszger, who is a recent graduate of Northwest University and part of our staff, has joined two of her fellow grads to become a part of this new changemaking celebration. Two years ago, they started a new social enterprise in Northern Thailand called Same Thread. These three millennials became increasingly concerned about the growing number of women from an impoverished region of Thailand who are forced into sex trafficking. They decided to do something about it.
They started a business creating fabrics using natural fibers and sustainable dyes for creating a range of attractive Thai garments. The greatest “profit” from this social business is that women who were subjected to a dreadful way of life are now able to turn away from being forced to take work in the sex trade because they are able to support their families through this new economic opportunity. My wife and I are gratified to join with others in enabling these three young innovators to launch this important changemaking venture.

Now the Bad News

One of the reasons this kind of social innovation is so important is that government funding to help those in urgent need locally and globally seems to be declining. Funding for charity is also in serious decline, largely due to the growing number of shrinking church congregations. This means that it has never been more urgent that churches learn from and join this generation in putting compassionate changemaking at the very center of our lives, families and congregations.
I believe the Spirit of God may well be using not only the Christian young, but also the lives of many young social innovators who are largely outside the church to challenge followers of Jesus to invest more of our lives and resources in creative approaches to serious changemaking instead of being satisfied with simple church attendance or simply offering handouts.
Wouldn’t you like to join these young changemakers who are discovering the satisfaction of the creator God more fully by using their lives to make a lasting difference? Why would any follower of the servant Jesus want to settle for less and miss God’s best?

An Invitation

The purpose of our journey together is not simply to learn more about this changemaking celebration. I want to encourage you to join it. Consider this an invitation to discover how God might use your mustard seed to make a difference in ways you might find surprising. Remember,
Jesus let us in on an astonishing secret: God has chosen to change the world through the lowly, the unassuming, and the imperceptible. “Jesus said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth branches, so the birds of the air can make nests in its shade” (Mark 4:30–32). (The Mustard Seed Conspiracy)
For whatever reason, God has chosen to use the insignificant and ordinary to change the world, which should give us all a little hope! I want to invite you to invite the Creator God to ignite your imagination to join others in creating our best communities, our best world, and, in the process, our best lives—in ways that both advance something of God’s purposes and respond to some of tomorrow’s urgent challenges.

More Good News

Recently, I flew to Minnesota to visit, applaud and learn from one of the most innovative congregational social incubator ventures I have found in North America: Innové. In 2013, Colonial Church sold some property. Pastor Daniel Harrell asked the church to donate a generous share of the profits from sale of the property to create a concrete way to help fund this changemaking celebration in their community.
Essentially, this congregation decided to do something innovative: They use this money through Innové to offer people in their neighborhood under 35 a new social enterprise competition. All you need to participate is to be under 35 and have a good idea. Leah Driscoll and her team won first place proposing Twin Cities Mobile Market. The issue that stimulated their deep concern was the discovery that almost 300,000 people in the Twin Cities live in a “food desert.” This simply means these people don’t have access to affordable grocery stores or fresh produce. This innovative solution was the Mobile Market.
With the support of Innové, Leah and her team bought a used METRO bus and remodeled it into a traveling grocery store. It goes to a different neighborhood ever day of the week and offers reasonably priced groceries and produce—and it pays for itself! Reportedly, Leah and her team are preparing to purchase another old, municipal bus with strong support from the church and members who’ve invested their time and professional gifts.
The Innové incubator has already launched over ten new social innovations that are making an impressive difference in the lives of a number of their neighborhoods. It is also enabling a church to invest more of its time and money making a serious difference in the lives of her neighbors instead of focusing an unbalanced amount of its resources on meeting the needs of people inside the building.


What would happen if you and your church seriously invited the changemaking ideas of the young in your congregation as well as those in your neighborhood and then helped them launch their best ideas?
What would happen to your relationship with those under 35 if you not only invited their changemaking ideas, but you also started sharing a much greater percentage of your time and money in making a significant difference in the lives of your most vulnerable neighbors?
Is it possible you might not only keep more of your own young people, but also attract those outside the church who want to live like they really give a damn?
What God might do with our mustard seeds if we started pursuing the compassionate purposes of Jesus!

Selasa, 18 Oktober 2016

Are You Burning Out? 8 Real-Talk Questions to Ask Yourself

Are You Burning Out? 8 Real-Talk Questions to Ask Yourself

See if you recognize any of these symptoms in your life.
Are You Burning Out? 8 Real-Talk Questions to Ask Yourself
No one becomes a pastor with the intention of burning out.
But when news hit this week that a well-known pastor had resigned because he was burned out, one of the leaders in our church asked me the question that I want to ask you…
Are you burning out?
My immediate response to the question was ‘no.’ But just to make sure, I went home and made a list of warning signs—call them symptoms of burnout. See if you recognize any of these in your life:
1. I want people who have hurt me to suffer. Instead of naming and dealing with my hurt, I project that hurt on someone else. Nursing a grudge effectively blocks my heart from experiencing healing, forgiveness, acceptance and love.
2. I self-medicate in ways that nobody else knows. You think I’m strong, but that’s just because I don’t want to feel sadness. But I need to feel something so I turn to anything or anyone who will make me feel like I matter. Turning to my drug of choice (food, alcohol, sexual release, narcotics, etc., etc., etc.) has made me a master of justifying my sin while making excuses for why I can’t mortify my sin.
3. I don’t sleep well because I’m overwhelmed by anxiety. Today was painful, and there’s no end in sight. How could I possibly sleep until I’ve turned over every rock that I can imagine to make sure that tomorrow won’t be more of the same?
4. I struggle to care about anyone or anything. How do I respond to a growing sense of loneliness? I defiantly act like nothing and no one matters. You can’t hurt me anymore because I don’t love you enough or hate you enough to care about you. Try to get close to me and you’ll pay for it by my cold indifference.
5. I’m ready to flip tables when people around me aren’t perfect. I’m scared to death that you’ll abandon me if you knew the truth about me. So here’s what I’ll do—I’ll threaten to leave YOU. I’ll punish you. I’ll give you the silent treatment. I’ll tear into you with my words and maybe even my fists. Don’t believe me? Just ask my spouse, my kids and my co-workers. All of them know who’s boss.
6. I act like I care about people, but I’m just using them. I have worked hard to earn my reputation as someone who really, really cares about people. I’m always available to help people, to encourage people, to be their pastor and friend. What they don’t know is that the hospital visits and the text messages and the looks of concern are ultimately about me. I’ll do whatever it takes for them to think I’m amazing. Don’t believe me? Ask me when is the last time I took a day off.
7. I have no one who I can talk to honestly without fear of losing my job. The last time I had an honest, unfiltered conversation with someone was during the Bush administration. No, not W. His dad.
8. I avoid God. Do you know how easy it is to look like I have a relationship with God when I talk about him every Sunday? Do we need to walk through the litany of reasons in my life to prove that God is out to get me? I could wrestle through that, but what good does that do? I’ll just fill my life with so much other stuff that the only time I have available to open a Bible is when I’m trying to put something together for my sermon.

Do the Next Right Thing

Sound familiar?
Odds are you probably don’t feel all of that right now—but you might. And I’m hoping God has graced you with enough courage and self-awareness to recognize yourself in some of these symptoms.
If any of these symptoms are true for you today, please press pause on your day and take 10 minutes to read this post on solutions for symptoms of burnout. It might be the difference between you thriving as a healthy, happy human being and becoming a statistic.

What did I miss? Use the comments section below and share other symptoms of burnout.

Let’s do all that we can to encourage each other toward health in our life and ministry!

Matt Adair
Matt Adair is the lead pastor of Christ Community Church ( in Athens, GA and the founder of Griddiron, a coaching and consulting firm that helps church leaders build your world so you can change the world. Matt is the former North American Director of the Acts 29 Network, a global partnership of churches that plant churches. Matt is married to Lindsey, is the father of three sons, and is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL.  

Why “Making Things Happen” is a Bad Idea For Church Planters

ben stern making things happen
I’m still not sure how I became a church planter.
Seriously, my gifts and talents don’t seem to make me a likely candidate. I wasn’t picked early as having “church planting potential.” I don’t have that serial entrepreneur thing that a lot of planters do (although I did start a punk rock band in high school and we were actually kind of good!).
Because of this, church planting forces me to operate in my weakness a lot. But maybe that’s why God called me to do this. Maybe God called me to plant because I’m not a “born planter.” Maybe operating in my weakness is a gift.

No Hype, Please

My wife and I never really had any appetite to plant a church by cranking up the hype machine. It felt like death to gather a crowd, give ‘em a good show, try to get them to come back next week (“You won’t want to miss it!”), and maybe make some disciples somehow, magically.
So we planted differently, on purpose. We were definitely naïve in lots of ways, and we really didn’t know what we were doing, but we started with a small group of people and began discipling them and seeking to live on mission together.
We learned as we went. We trained leaders and eventually multiplied our initial core team by reproducing ourselves into others. It sounds kind of romantic, but it wasn’t. It was hard to learn what we needed to learn.
And it was really hard not to try and hurry the process along. It was hard to resist the temptation to make things happen.

Resisting the Urge to Make Things Happen

I’m finding the same temptation in our current church plant. We’ve been “on the ground” for a little more than a year, and we didn’t have a huge relational network here to start with. So we’re starting from scratch, living bi-vocationally, and getting to know neighbors, friends, and friends of friends.
We’ve got a core team that we’ve started discipling and training, but because there isn’t a lot of institutional inertia yet (stuff that just happens because it’s always happened for a long time), I feel a big temptation to “make things happen,” kick things into gear.
But here’s why that’s a bad idea: When we submit to our desire to “make” things happen, we stop cooperating with the Holy Spirit. We stop noticing what God is already doing. We close down our discernment in the interest of seeing something, anything, visibly happen.
And then we are stuck planting a church in our own strength, asking God to bless our efforts. The exact thing we were trying to avoid!

What About Being Intentional?

Just like it’s easy to ignore what God is doing in the name of “making things happen,” it’s just as easy to fail to respond to what God is doing in the name of “discernment.”
It’s just as important to respond to what God is doing as it is to notice what God is doing (Matthew 7:24-27, James 1:22).
This is where we’ve had to lean in and be intentional in our church planting. Because we’re more comfortable listening and noticing what God is doing, it’s a discipline for us to take movemental action in response to what God is doing.
Others who are more comfortable moving need to embrace the discipline of discernment, noticing what God is already doing so that actions can be a participation and partnership with God rather than “good” stuff we do for God, hoping he’ll bless it.

How to Tell the Difference

So how do we tell the difference between “making things happen” in our own strength and being intentional about responding to what we see God doing? How would we know what space we’re operating in?

Here are 3 ideas, along with 3 practices that will help:

1. Notice Peace (and Its Absence)
Whenever I feel the temptation to “make things happen,” I realize that I’m operating in anxiety. I fear that we’re not growing fast enough or that we “should” be “further along” or something. Other times I feel anxious about taking action, even when it’s in response to something God is doing!
Of course these thoughts don’t come from God—I’m not discerning anything here, just afraid of what others might think of me.
Nothing good comes from actions taken from anxiety and fear. Seek to operate from a place of peace. If you notice you’ve lost your peace, stop everything and figure out why. Fight to stay in a place of peace.
A practice that will help with this: contemplative prayer.
2. Notice Grace
Grace is not just what God gives us because of sin. Grace is God’s generous presence and activity in our lives. It’s his empowering presence that is with us. So if we’re on mission with God, noticing where God’s grace is at work is always the first step.
So I have learned to ask, often, where I am currently seeing God at work. Where is there evidence of good fruit that I can’t produce in my own awesomeness? When I notice something, I thank God for it, then seek to mobilize resources and energy toward it.
It’s kind of like gardening. I watch for shoots to come up out of the soil, and then I bring fertilizer and water to those plants. It’s the same in church planting. You don’t cause the growth, but you can notice it and bring resource toward it to continue to help it flourish.
A practice that will help with this: discernment.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Once you are operating from a place of peace and consistently noticing and responding to God’s grace, focus your energy on those areas by eliminating stuff that doesn’t line up with what God is doing.
It might be stuff you think you’re supposed to do, like post to Twitter, or have an awesome website, or spend money on sound equipment, or meticulously design awesome graphics for every sermon, but if it’s really not what God is doing, just stop.
Maybe just ditch the slides completely for a few weeks and see if it even matters? Trim a few hours of sermon prep so you can spend more time with people and see what happens.
There are lots of ways to eliminate distractions so you can focus on what God is doing now, here.

Neither Make Things Happen nor Wait for Things to Happen

Missional church planting is not about “making things happen,” but it’s also not about aimlessly “hanging out,” hoping that good stuff will just happen. 
Missional church planting is about responding to what we see God doing, and I’m hopeful this post will help with that!
How about you? What have you found helpful as you’ve navigated this tension? Leave a comment below to start a discussion.
Grow and Learn in Community with V3 Coaches & Fellow Church Planters!

5 Reasons You Really Need to Slow Down

5 Reasons You Really Need to Slow Down

“Hurry is not OF the devil. Hurry IS the devil.”
5 Reasons You Really Need To Slow Down
In 1967, experts on time management delivered a report to the U.S. Senate. These experts believed the speed of technology, satellites and robotics would present a big problem for the American workplace in the years to come.
The problem? People would have too much free time.
Here’s a quote from the report. “By 1985, people might have to choose between working 22 hours a week, 27 weeks a year or retiring at 38.”
The “experts” nailed that one.
Increased speeds in technology have, in fact, decreased free time. The “experts” didn’t anticipate us filling in the productivity gaps with…more productivity. But we did.
And today, we’re addicted to speed. This addiction is so prevalent, it’s been given a name…hurry sickness.
Hurry sickness is defined as “a continuous struggle to accomplish more things and participate in more events in less time, frequently in the face of opposition, real or imagined, from other people.
If you’ve ever laid on the horn because the person in front of you didn’t turn fast enough or changed aisles at the grocery store because another aisle had fewer people, you might suffer with hurry sickness.
Let’s be honest, our pace is unhealthy. We accomplish more in less time, but at what cost?
Look at the life of Jesus. Do you find it strange that he never rushed? He didn’t cater to the world’s demands. Even though he had an enormous mission to complete in a short period of time, he was never overwhelmed or anxious.
Jesus had the weight of the world on his shoulders, literally, but he didn’t allow it to crush him.
Could it be that faster doesn’t equal better? Is it possible that the fast life doesn’t lead to the good life? I think so. Hurriedness isn’t from God. As psychiatrist Carl Jung said, Hurry is not OF the devil. Hurry IS the devil.
Before we get started, I don’t want you to think I’m waging war against productivity or speed. Usain Bolt might be my favorite athlete ever. I can’t imagine a world without planes and computers. I’m waging war against hurriedness, the idolatrous result of bowing down to speed and productivity.
Here are five things a hurried life costs us.

1. A hurried life prevents us from knowing God.  

Last night, I read a book to my boys called Where Is God? The words hit me hard, so much so that I read them again after the boys went to sleep. Listen to this.
“Where is God…God is in the beginning…in the tiny hands of a baby…Where is God?…God is in the end…in the last bite of birthday cake…Where is God? God is in the world…God is everywhere…wherever we look.”
A hurried world has no time for looking, no space to notice God. Life is about the next thing, the next event, the next item on our to-do list.
As long as we move at this speed, we shouldn’t wonder why our relationship with God suffers.
God is wherever we look, but are we looking for Him?

2. A hurried life decreases compassion and empathy.

Compassion and empathy are similar, but different. Compassion sees the suffering or pain of another person and has a desire to help. Empathy sees the emotions of another person and feels the same thing.
Compassion and empathy disappear in hurried cultures. Rather than helping our neighbor or listening to our hurting friend or co-worker, we resort to “pick up your boot straps” and “get over it” attitudes, the very opposite of Jesus.
Jesus always made space for compassion, regardless of the demands around him. He welcomed children, fed thousands of hungry people, and was continually side-tracked to heal the sick and talk with outcasts.
How frustrating would Jesus have been for an event planner?
What do you feel when you see someone hurting? What’s your response to someone with a different perspective? What about the outcasts and marginalized? Are you more inclined to stop and listen or judge them for not trying hard enough, making bad choices, etc.?

3. A hurried life increases anxiety, depression and addiction. 

Through my American lens, it seems like Jesus wasted most of his life. He was baptized at the age of 30, and immediately after went into the wilderness for 40 days?
Jesus could have performed miracles long before 30, and his following might have been larger. Who knows, more people might know Jesus today if he started his ministry earlier.
That’s a no-brainer, God. Maybe you need an expert on time-management to help you steward the life of Jesus?
What’s that, God?…Yeah, you made the stars…Yeah, you were here long before me…You’re right, having someone you created consult you sounds silly.
The 30 years Jesus spent in obscurity weren’t wasted years. God was developing important virtues in Jesus…patience and self-control.
Temptation is, in essence, a decrease in the time between impulse and action. It should come as no surprise that anxiety, depression and addiction plague a hurried culture. “Even instant gratification takes too long,” as actress Carrie Fisher once said.
Tell us to wait or wrestle with tension and pain rather than medicate it, and you might as well told us to backhand slap a baby.
Could it be the 30 years prior to Jesus’ ministry and the 40 days in the wilderness created a gap between impulse and action so wide he was never mentally or spiritually capable of sin? Not to say Jesus wasn’t physical susceptible to attack, but when Satan approached him, he was seasoned with years of patience and self-control, preventing his mind and heart from acting on the physical impulses.
If so, maybe it’s time we stopped looking at obscurity and wilderness, tension and pain as negatives.

4. A hurried life destroys meaningful relationships. 

Much of what makes life meaningful—friendships, family and community—need the very thing hurried people don’t have: time.
Busyness strangles meaningful, life-giving friendships. Hurried people simply don’t have the space to maintain friendships or invest in building new ones.
I’ve seen this in my life. Between work, kids and family, I’ll go weeks, months even, without calling my best friends…and not even realize it.
Marriage is also greatly affected by hurriedness. “Love is patient,” the first component listed in 1 Corinthians 13. Love isn’t rushed. It doesn’t come to fruition over night. Great marriages, the ones I see looking at my grandparents, the ones filled with peace and joy and hope, they take years. But, let’s be honest, we don’t have years. And I wonder how many divorces and broken homes are the product of impatience?
Then there’s kids. Kids might suffer more than anyone from our lust-filled affair with busyness and hurry. As a father of two, I feel it’s my duty to protect my boys from boredom. But, today, as they put socks on their hands, running frantically through the house trying to catch a flying monster, I wondered if I needed a 3- and 4-year-old to protect me.
Carefree timelessness is the oxygen that keeps meaningful relationship alive, and the birthplace of wonder, joy and creativity.

5. A hurried life leads to a superficial, meaningless existence. 

When things happen too fast, nobody can be certain about anything, about anything at all, not even about himself. Milan Kundera
“Purpose” is a trendy word in today’s culture, and rightfully so, we were created for something larger than ourselves. But in a hurried world, a purposeful life is more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster.
Here’s why.
Your purpose is unique to you. It’s an outpouring of your passion and gifts. Uncovering these requires introspection, looking inside yourself. It requires stillness and time with God.
Busy people have no time for introspection and stillness, and the result is a world of copy-cats and posers. A hurried world would rather imitate someone than become the unique men and women God created us to be.
We can be sure we’re moving at an unhealthy speed when we’re more concerned with what we’re doing than who we’re becoming, more concerned with external validation than integrity.
And we can be sure a meaningless, self-seeking existence awaits us unless we learns to slow down.
Your life’s pace matters. And I don’t believe the costs of a hurried life are worth the rewards. The fast isn’t necessarily the good life. A more productive life isn’t necessarily a more meaningful one.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!