One Foot Forward, One Day’s Grace

How can we pursue productivity as Christians in our weakness?

Here’s my thesis: by taking small steps consistently and depending on grace constantly. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to flesh out this idea and explore how it works out practically.

#1: One Foot Forward – Take small steps consistently

We often feel weak. We wrestle with internal obstacles that can make even the smallest changes seem daunting. We distract ourselves from responsibilities we’re too afraid to face. We’ve tried and failed too many times before, so we give up easily at the first sign of hardship.

Because we’re so easily overwhelmed, our goal should be to take complex responsibilities, goals, and tasks and break them into smaller parts. And since those parts can still feel overwhelming, we should break them up even smaller. And so on and so forth, until it’s a single step. A step so small that even struggling people like us can put one foot forward in front of the other.

Small steps are the key to consistency, and consistency is the key to change. Try to take too many steps, too quickly, and you set yourself up for failure when busyness and adversity inevitably come. But if our mindset is to just take the next step, we can move forward even on the days we fail or feel especially inadequate.

#2: One Day’s Grace – Depend on grace constantly

Taking small steps consistently is not novel productivity advice. Most productivity resources will recommend that to you in one form or another. That advice will be helpful, I suspect, whether you’re a Christian or not.

What distinguishes Christian productivity is dependence on God. As Christians, we turn to God in our weakness rather than summoning the strength from within. We ask him to sustain us one day at a time. As we rest in his promises and lift our needs to him in prayer, he empowers us to grow. In Christian productivity, the more disciplined and resilient we become, the more we lean on God. Why? Because he has been our source of strength all along.

With secular productivity, the more disciplined and resilient we become, the more our self-confidence grows. We are strong. We can control our lives.  We can change ourselves. The results may be the same—there are amazingly disciplined non-Christians—but these two approaches produce very different hearts.

My hope is to hold change (one foot forward) and dependence (one day’s grace) together. Many successful non-Christians achieve pragmatic change without reference to God, while many Christians talk about the wonders of grace but are stagnant and ill-equipped to face the challenges of life. May we be Christians who pursue God-honoring change and humble dependence




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