The Well Lived Life Isn’t a Productive One

Date: January 4, 2023

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23

I hate to tell you this, but there aren’t going to be any awards on the other end of life for the person who got the most work done.

Work is a good thing, but God’s idea of a well-lived life isn’t a productive one but rather a fruitful one. Alice Freyling points out that “There’s a difference between productivity and fruitfulness. Productivity results from all the tasks I accomplish. Fruitfulness comes from within and includes nontangible ways I relate to others.”[1] Godly fruitfulness doesn’t come from our work but rather in our agreement to let the Spirit of God work in us. The qualities, or the fruit that the Holy Spirit works in our lives include attractive qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

Who has shared their fruitfulness with you? I think back to my high school pastor, who poured into the lives of the teen leaders in our youth group. Each week, he’d show Jesus’s love to us by meeting with us individually. He’d ask how we were doing at really living the Jesus way. He’d even bring a brown bag lunch to a student’s high school to sit on the grass and eat with them. His focused attention on us had a huge impact: at least six of those students became vocational missionaries.

A life of fruitfulness is a process of continuing to say yes to God’s way. The result is a big basket of eternal fruit in the end, and much satisfaction along the way.

[1] Fryling, Alice. “A Different Kind of Retirement.” Aging Faithfully: The Holy Invitation of Growing Older, NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO, 2021, pp. 9–10.