Urgency is carefully masked over with noble-sounding terms like “productive” and “efficient.” In a culture that values efficiency, often over relationships, it’s hard to feel bad for being productive when it’s such a valued commodity. Urgency. It may not be a sin for you, but, in a high-paced culture, it is at the very least a stealthy temptation that can quickly overrule God’s commands.
THE ROOTS OF URGENCY
1. Cultural values. The sin of urgency stems from a craftily masked over American “virtue”: efficiency. Efficiency is good in it’s place. Hear that. But when efficiency is elevated too highly, it leads to a sense of urgency that does not correspond to reality or to a biblical worldview.
2. Lack of mental organization. God commands us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5, ESV). Monitor and filter what you are consciously and unconsciously dwelling upon. In another book, Paul says, “Think about these things” that are true (Phil. 4:8, ESV). It matters what you think on and how your thoughts are organized. Unorganized thoughts can lead to untrue thoughts. If in busyness, thoughts and to-do list items are all cast into one box without any organization, urgency will gain another victim. Everything becomes urgent. Overwhelming. The world spins, and God blurs out of focus.
3. Desire for self-dependence. When man moves from one urgent thing to the next, two things tend to happen. (1) He becomes increasingly self-dependent, and (2) he moves away from God. Remember sin nature, the conquered foe Christ defeated? You return to the beast. I can do this, you say, and things spin faster. Time to read in the morning with your Savior? I’ll do it tomorrow. I need to get going. Time to pray? To rest? To stop doing? Tomorrow…when the list with no end is completed.
The battle is not always lost by major uprisings and blindside losses but by the spy that sneaks.
Urgency seems simple and even easy to master. I can stop “doing” at any time. It’s a complex sin pile. Self-sufficiency. Pride. Self-glorification. Legalism. Ultimately, God-rejection.
Biblical worldview does not just come into play in the college classroom or in the work place. The fight is daily, and it is constant. The battle is not always lost by major uprisings and blindside losses but by the spy that sneaks. See urgency for what it is: a powerful tool when kept in check by God’s commands and at other times a deadly poison that slowly overrules biblical commands and encourages self-dependence.
THE CURE FOR URGENCY
Removing the sin of urgency does not mean that you stop doing and sit on the couch. God has a lot to accomplish through His creation! You can move through tasks rapidly and calmly or rapidly and urgently. There is a huge difference, a tremendous worldview difference.
1. Recognize the wisdom in God’s commands. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), because in man’s hurry he is too quick to forget. Urgency can be draining. It can be self-destructive. Perhaps it’s warned against, because it’s harmful. Perhaps God divinely laid out commandments for man’s protection. There is value to resting on the Sabbath, having no other gods before the one true living God, resting in Him, being dependent on the daily grace of God.
2. Counter fear with truth.
FEAR: I am urgent with my time, because I am afraid that I won’t have enough time to accomplish _____________.
TRUTH: God controls time. God invented time. God is not bound by time. (John 11, Matthew 9)
FEAR: I am urgent with my friendships, because I am afraid that relationships will be damaged if I do not act quickly.
TRUTH: God alone unities and sustains friendships. They are a gift. I can neither force relationships to happen nor maintain them apart from God.
FEAR: I am urgent in my work, because I am afraid I will be – ultimately – fired from my job. I will have no job, no money, I will be on the streets, I will starve.
TRUTH: Does God not care for the sparrow? We have all our needs met and MORE through the riches of Christ Jesus.
Christ’s truth releases you from the illusion of control, the desire for speed, the sin nature that lures you away from God.
Busyness is not the problem. There is value in being efficient. Yes, God wants His redeemed to use their time and resources wisely (Matt. 25:14-30). There is a place for urgency, but there is no place for self-dependent urgency. This is the fight. Not one that you will face in college or later in life but today, this moment.
What is urgent to an all-powerful God? This is the question that can lead to both conviction and freedom. Christ’s truth releases you from the illusion of control, the desire for speed, the sin nature that lures you away from God. You are free. Fact. Live free. Live changed.