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Summary: Spiritual activities naturally and supernaturally lend themselves to maintaining one’s personal spirituality, but when we’re confronted by a very common, boring, or repetitive activity…like driving, our spirituality tends to slip down a notch.

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Spiritual Inefficiency

John 13:17,

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Have you ever noticed either yourself or someone else’s inability to remain spiritual when doing certain activities? For example, we can be all spiritual in a prayer meeting, but what about when we are driving our car home from that very same prayer meeting? We can be spiritual in a fellowship of Christians, but what about when we are in a group of movie goers?

Spiritual activities naturally and supernaturally lend themselves to maintaining one’s personal spirituality at that time, but when we’re confronted by a very common, boring, or repetitive activity…like driving, or waiting for the bus…our spirituality tends to slip down and away from us a few notches. We can all maintain a spiritual life at home, in the church, and in those Christian circles of friends, but it’s the normal and, dare I say, actual life, where we are most apt to fall victim to spiritual inefficiency. We are quickly bored with the mundane activities, and we let our spirituality wane or taper off. We get involved in a repetitive activity such as washing the dishes, or walking the same route home, and our spirituality wanders down a different route. We begin to think about ‘more important things.’

Silas Shotwell, in the publication Homemade, September, 1987 had this to say about a father and son going fishing:

Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!" The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.

I want to spend a little time today, and speak about spiritual inefficiency. And, to understand inefficiency, it’s best to simply define efficiency:

Efficiency: doing things right.

In the world of management and leadership, the word efficiency is often accompanied by another word and that word is effectiveness.

Efficiency: doing things right.

Effectiveness: doing the right things.

Now, if you’ve got it all worked out and there doesn’t seem to be any laziness in your normal, actual life, then you’ve got my permission to sit there quietly, take notes, and give them to someone that you know that may really need to know about the spiritual inefficiency in their life.

Let’s get started.

I want to set before us a question. I want to present it before we get to our main points so that those points may be able to disclose an area in which we’re complacent. Our points are going to try and provide answers to this question, so that we may apply it to our lives or help someone whose spiritual inefficiency may be overshadowing their lives.


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