This morning before church, I discover this quote from Henri Nouwen. He says, “Jesus never asked us to be productive. Jesus asked us to be fruitful.”
I’m thinking about this distinction quite a bit these days. So many things around us pressure us into productivity and accomplishment. But a life of deep abiding in Christ isn’t necessarily productive. It’s fruitful. The difference? A productive life often keeps us busy, frantic, and exhausted. It’s disconnected from God’s leading and empowering. A fruitful life, on the contrary, keep us hidden in Christ, connected to His outcomes, and committed to the Sprit-filled life. It’s a listening life. It’s a gentle life. It’s a life, however, that bears much fruit that lasts.
My great friend and mentor told me once that, sure, I could bear fruit. I could have a fruitful life that seems very spiritual and productive. “You can bear fruit, but it won’t be fruit that lasts” unless it originates with, is empowered by, and accomplished through the Holy Spirit.
So today I take a deep breath. I pray for God to bear much fruit–fruit that will last–in my life today. It won’t be a productive day, but it will be fruitful.