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Jordan Raynor: Work-Life Balance: Purposeful, Present, & Wildly Productive

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 3:00 am

Jordan Raynor: Work-Life Balance: Purposeful, Present, & Wildly Productive

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 30, 2022 3:00 am

Work-life balance feel out of reach? Author Jordan Raynor describes better ways to reach your full potential, using Jesus own time-management strategies. Show Notes and ResourcesFind resources from this podcast at more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.Check out all the FamilyLife podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network

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So what percentage of Americans do you feel like are stressed and overwhelmed right now? What percentage? What do you think? I looked it up.

You cheater. I mean, you know, you got a phone in your hand and you're like, I was honestly thinking as we're coming out of the pandemic, and it said 83% of Americans feel stressed. And they have symptoms like yelling at their spouse, uncontrolled mood swings.

I just thought, wow, we are living in a world that is chaotic. And it's affecting us, it's affecting our marriages, and it's really affecting our kids. Yeah, and I think one of the things that's underestimated, and I'm excited to talk about it today, is rest. Sabbath rest. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.

I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. Sabbath rest, I think, does a soul good. It does our bodies good.

It does a marriage and family good. What is that word? What's that word mean? Rest?

We don't do that very well. Let's talk about it. We've got Jordan Rayner back in the studio with us. Jordan, welcome back to Family Life Today. Thanks for having me.

Your book, Redeeming Your Time, the subtitle is Seven Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful. That I expected. Present, we talked about that yesterday a little bit, but then you have this phrase, wildly productive.

Not just productive. Wildly. I like it.

So, honestly, I pick it up, I'm like, that's what I want. I know you talk to corporations, you help leaders. You're an author.

You name it. You do it all. You've written books. I love how God creates and created us to create. But as you think about being productive, wildly productive, help us understand rest. Because I know it's one of your principles to help us be productive. How does rest fit in there? It's this counterintuitive idea that there are at least three God-designed rhythms of rest that make us more productive for our goals that we're chasing after in life. And I think most importantly, for our souls, right?

They're a way of preaching the gospel to ourselves and reminding ourselves that we're not the ones keeping the world spinning. So real quickly, they are number one, buy hourly breaks, B-I hyphen hourly breaks, taking breaks roughly every two hours throughout your workday. That's how you can ensure that you're maximally productive.

Number two, getting an eight hour nightly sleep opportunity, which I know sounds insane, but the science is really clear on. And then number three, weekly Sabbath. There's more and more data coming out showing that people who observe the Sabbath on a regular basis live longer. Corporations who recognize the Sabbath with their teams are strongly outperforming their competitors.

See Chick-fil-A. And none of this should surprise us because it's how God works, right? We don't have to wonder, oh, what is the ideal mix of work and rest? God tells us in Genesis one and two, he worked six days and he rested one. But I don't know about you guys, I grew up in the church and we never talked about Sabbath, ever. I didn't know a family who's Sabbath. And when we did talk about the fourth commandment, which P.S. is the only one that we're cool ignoring in a post-Jesus world.

It just felt like this life sucking legalistic chore. And what I've discovered in my family is it is anything but Sabbath the way that God intended it to be is for man. It is for us, as Jesus said. And we've just discovered it as this beautiful, we call it an island of get to in a sea of have to. It is this life giving day that has become truly the lifeblood of our family.

And so what's that look like for the Reiners? You've got three little girls, you're married. I mean, it's easy to sit here and talk about Sabbath, which means a day of rest.

So do you actually do Sabbath? I would argue it's not easy to talk about when you've got three kids. What I'm saying is he's talking about it's hard to do. Yeah, it's hard to do. It's hard to do because his parents know there's no such thing as a day off from, quote unquote, work.

Right. Might not go to the office, but parenting my kids is way harder work than going to my office, right? So for us, we Sabbath from Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown. And ironically, it starts with work. We were just talking before we recorded about when you go over to the Holy Land watching people prepare for Sabbath. It's a big deal because it takes a lot of work to rest for 24 full hours. So we're cleaning up the house, we're running the dishwasher, we're planning out what we want for food the next day.

We're making plans with family and friends for Sunday. And then we shut everything off, right? If there are dishes left in the sink, they're going to stay there for 24 hours. Wait, so you're not even doing dishes.

No. Starting at dinner on Saturday, no dishes, no taking out the trash, no productive talk about work. We truly cease.

I think about the Keith and Kristen Getty song, right? All strivings cease. We stop doing things that we have to do. But for us, it's far less about what we don't do and far more about what we do partake in on Sabbath. We spend more time in God's word because we let our kids watch a full length movie. It's like a Sabbath Sunday only treat. They watch a full length movie and drink a hot cup of coffee.

Please don't judge. Yes, I have young kids drinking lattes every Sunday morning. We feast on God's word. We feast with great food. We eat our favorite takeout.

We get donuts from our favorite spot in town. And then we go to church and feast with our church family on the word and in worship. And then we come home and usually Sunday afternoons are pretty low key.

But again, nothing life-sucking. We're not vacuuming. We're not picking up the house. We're just playing games, playing cards, swimming in the pool with the kids.

Jordan, there's work to be done. There's things around the house that need to be done. It's my only day.

And you're saying, nope. Not for us. We cram it all into Saturday. We get all that housework done on Saturday that we need to get done.

And honestly, again, I alluded to this before. This helps me be more productive during the week. But I honestly think it's mostly a means of stopping and recognizing that as a child, I'm a child of God before I'm a worker bee of God. I have a relationship. I can experience love and acceptance from the Father even when I'm not doing a single thing. And you want to like refuel your energy?

You want to really recharge? Rest in that love. Rest in the gospel by literally resting with your hands and experiencing that love that is regardless of our output. I'm loving this.

Do you like this? Because, and let me add, for 30 years, your workday has been Sunday as a pastor. And so you're working, and then you would be with the lions on the sidelines. So that's work. So your Sabbath, our Sabbath was Monday, but our kids were in school. So I'm hearing this thinking, we should do this. We're acting like we don't do this.

No, because I'm working. I'm sitting there going, we do this. I'm thinking I'd go insane if I saw dishes on the counter and it's Sunday.

But I like the idea of takeout and I can throw it on the trash can. I just love this idea. I would guess most of you are like me that you're thinking, I haven't been doing this. What would it look like if we committed to it?

We could say, let's commit, get some of your small groups, some friends and say, you guys, let's do this for a few months. And then get together and say, what has this been like for your family? And maybe on Sundays you're together with families.

Your kids are playing. You're talking. I like sitting by the pool. You're in the Word. Dave, let's do it.

Well, I mean, the thing that I think as I was reading through Redeeming Your Time is you don't expect that to be one of the seven principles. You know, it's like I want to be wildly productive. I've got to get things done. I've got to have a plan.

And that's all in there. But you make it a big priority that no rest actually gets better results. And I make it a big priority because there is a priority for Jesus and God the Father who observed the Sabbath.

And, listen, we can get into all sorts of debates. Is Sabbath commanded or not? Blah, blah, blah.

Here's the deal. To work and rest in the image of God is to work six days and rest one. And He's done that for us, for our own good. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Think about this.

God didn't need to rest in the beginning. So why did He do it? I was thinking about this the other day when I was crossing the street with my kids. I was crossing the street with my five year old. When I cross the street with my five year old, I make a big to do about looking both ways. I dramatically swing my head to the left and say, no cars this way. I dramatically swing my head to the right and say the same thing. Now, I don't need to do that.

I could check for cars in a split second. But I do it because my daughter needs it. And I think this has got to be part of the reason why God rested in the beginning. He didn't need to, but He knew that we would need to.

And so He's modeling it for us like any good parent does for their children. I, you know, preached on this a few times. And like Ann said, I was a good preacher on it, but I didn't always live it. I didn't.

I think you're better at than I am. Yeah. I mean, it was hard for Ann to ever sit down. But I found out one time when I was getting ready to preach on it, that bowling alleys, have you ever heard this? Rest their bowling pins. No.

And when I heard this, I'm like, no, they don't. I literally went into a bowling alley. I go up to the owner.

It was right across from one of our campuses at our church. And I said, hey, you know, there's this rumor. Do you guys like rest your bowling pins? He goes, of course. Want me to show you? And I'm like, what? And we go back behind all the pins.

I'd never done this in my life. And there's a whole room. He goes, this is where we put them. We set them there for a week, sometimes a month.

We bring them back out on the lanes and they jump because they're rested wood. I'm like, if that's how God designed the world, including our bodies, it makes sense. We will jump with life will be more productive if we obey a 10 commandment. I mean, above the top 10, he makes Sabbath one of the top 10.

And you're saying your job, your production is going to be exponentially better if you actually obey this commandment. I've seen it in my own life. I'm on by far the most productive streak of my entire life.

Let's call it the last five years. It's funny, I was traveling this summer on vacation with my family and I saw a mentor who's been mentoring me for about a decade. I hadn't seen him in quite a few years, probably five, six years. And afterwards, he texted me. He said, hey, I don't know what it is, but you are so much more at peace, so much less anxious and just so much more rested than I've seen you ever in your life. And he's like, and he even went out of his way to say, and it's not vacation rest. Like this is different. He's a serious believer.

And so I just shot him back. I just had Sabbath. Really?

That's it. So not only am I more rested, not only am I less anxious, I've been wildly productive by God's grace alone in the stretch of five or six years since we've started doing it. I'm a huge advocate. And again, not in a legalistic way. You quoted Jesus. Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The problem is we just haven't opened up the gift. It has been sitting under the metaphorical Christmas tree of the church for decades, and nobody seems to be opening it.

And my prayer is that more Christ followers would open that gift, experience the gift of Sabbath rest so that, number one, we could experience more God's presence, and number two, we could be wildly productive for the good works that he prepared in advance for us. And it's amazing that he said that to you at this season of your life, because you're in one of the busiest with a seven-year-old, five-year-old, and two-year-old. Most of our listeners are going, there's no way this dude is living where I'm living because you can't rest with that season of your life. But you're choosing even in the craziest time. And it's going to get even crazier as they become teenagers. I have a feeling you're going to keep doing it.

I think we will. And I've got to make this clear, too, because a lot of people ask me, well, there's no way you and your wife can do this. My wife experiences Sabbath as much as I do. We both get eight hours of sleep. This is possible.

I didn't even think it was possible, for the record, right? I got six, seven hours of sleep forever. I didn't Sabbath forever, but it is possible with God's grace and the right tools, and live a life more in line with what I think we see in Jesus' life in the Gospels. Well, I love this part of it. Now let's go to the other part. We have rest, but let's talk about work, too, because one of the things you talk about is work is worship, and how God gave us work before the fall. It was a gift to us. So let's kind of get into this area a little bit. I think we've neglected this a lot in the church.

We've forgotten this. Number one, God Himself worked before He told us that He is loving or holy or omnipotent. Genesis 1, 1, He told us that He's a God who is creative.

This is totally unique in the history of world religions. Every other origin story says that the gods created human beings to do the lowly manual labor in the world and serve the gods. Only Christianity starts with a God who works both with His words, see Genesis 1, and with His hands, planting a garden in the east in Eden, see Genesis 2. And He formed Adam with His hands out of the dust.

Exactly right. Tim Keller commenting on this says that God did manual labor. I don't think that's heretical.

I think that's spot on. So number one, God works. And to your point, He created human beings to work prior to the fall. Genesis 1, 26-28 says God blessed them and said fill the earth and subdue it.

And said create and work and rule and subdue. Work was the blessing. Now, of course, we all know Genesis 3, human beings sinned, work became difficult and toilsome. But here's the end of the story that nobody's talking about in the church today and it drives me nuts. One day, work is going to be perfect worship. Once again, heaven is not in the clouds playing harps for all eternity. It is here on earth. And Isaiah 65 says God's chosen ones, that's us who are in Christ Jesus, will long enjoy the work of their hands.

Right? It's a beautiful promise. If you hate your job today, it's a beautiful promise. But even if you love your job, man, hopefully this fuels your joy and your anticipation and your motivation to go out there and share the gospel with your kids, with your neighbors, and with those you work with. Now, have you always been this guy? Was there ever a time when you were not redeeming in time, your job wasn't sure? I'm just looking at you like, okay, is this how you came out of the womb?

I'm like, who is he? Or is this something you've just cultivated over years? I haven't cultivated a thing. The Lord's done this in me. Let's get crystal clear about that.

I will say this. I went years, the first five years of my career, having no idea that my work mattered to God. I was working as a tech entrepreneur, still chairman of the board of a big tech startup I used to run. And I believed what my church was teaching me implicitly, and if I'm frank, sometimes explicitly, that if I really love Jesus, I would go move to a mud hut 5,000 miles away from home, or I would go plant a church. I would be a pastor or quote unquote full-time missionary. And listen, we need more of those.

I'm all about that. If God's calling you that, please go do that. But it took a mentor pulling me aside one day because I was thinking about planting a church and he just looked me in the eye and he's like, yeah, that sounds really dumb to me. And this is a guy who led Bible studies at my church.

This is a guy who I really respected and I didn't understand. He goes, Jordan, I've seen you serve your customers and your team through the ministry of excellence. I have seen you feel the Father's pleasure as you do your work as an entrepreneur. I've seen you even attempt to make disciples as you've run your businesses. Why do you think you have to go plant a church to quote unquote do ministry? And I had never heard that perspective before, but then I started reading what Luther wrote, what Calvin wrote, calling us all priests of the kingdom, whether we're milkmaids or farmers or bankers or whatever, all of us are doing God's work. I went back and I read Genesis 1 and 2 and my mind was blown, so much so that now I'm creating this content full time because I think every Christian needs to hear that you are not on the sidelines of kingdom work. God has drafted all of us into service. He has called all of us to go and make the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

And redeeming your time is a critical component to being able to do that effectively. And so when you hear people say, man, I can't wait to retire. I want to retire. If I could retire at 60, that would be ideal.

I just want to play golf. What are your thoughts? It saddens me. I don't feel condemnation towards that, although I don't see any biblical support for the idea of retirement. But it makes me sad because I think this is a pervasive idea that's built on this unbiblical lie that what we do 40 and 50 hours a week has no bearing on eternity.

This is a lie straight from the devil. All throughout Jesus' ministry, all throughout scripture, it's teaching us that what we do, mysterious as it might seem, has a chance of impacting and even shaping heaven by doing our work with excellence and with love and most importantly, in accordance with God's commands. We're not waiting for the kingdom to appear in a flash. Jesus said it was going to come slowly like a mustard seed.

He said it was going to come slowly like yeast working its way through a bunch of dough. And it comes at least in part through the Spirit, working through you and me. That's the mission the church and all of us are a part of that story. Yeah, I know that as a pastor, I often said from the pulpit, I don't think people believe me, but I also often said I'm jealous of what you do. And I think they're sitting there thinking, oh, I'm jealous, I'd like to be a, you know, you're in full-time ministry. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, you are a full-time Christian worker in a setting I will never get to be in, in a cubicle at a business or a plumber in somebody's house or a doctor or a stay-at-home, you name it. It's just always like, you get to meet people, I'll never meet, you'll reach out in a way I never could, they're never gonna come listen to me preach, but you have been gifted by God in a different way, it's so exciting to use it. And I think so often they feel like, no, no, no, no, it's a lesser calling.

No, it is a high calling to understand my gift is to be used to glorify God, but it isn't so much what I do, although it is, it's who and how I'm interacting with, right? That's my understanding of it, and oh, by the way, we were talking about this a little bit earlier before the program, we are entering into a period of history where people just aren't walking into the doors of a church to learn about Jesus for the first time. They're not, so where are they gonna see the one true God? They're gonna see him working alongside you in your office. They're gonna see him if you're a filmmaker in the films that you create that subtly and maybe sometimes explicitly point to Jesus.

They're gonna see Jesus in culture, which is why the church now more than ever has to do what they did in the beginning, which is scatter. We think of Paul as this guy who spent all of his time preaching post-Damascus. That's a lie. Paul chose to work as a tent maker.

Why? So that he could win the respect of outsiders. See, 1 Thessalonians, we gotta do the same thing. And oh, by the way, we love preaching to the Great Commission in Jesus' words in Matthew, go and make disciples of all nations. Dave, I'm sure you notice, I'm sure you've studied the original Greek here. You're gonna go into the participle. Let's go. Yeah.

All right, grammar nerds, put your glasses up on your face. Here we go. The Greek word that we translate to go and go and make disciples is what grammar nerds call an aorist tense passive participle, which means that our modern translations of this verse are actually pretty poor. A much better translation is as you are going, make disciples. The going was assumed. And oh, by the way, Jesus never went more than a couple hundred miles away from his hometown. And he was the greatest disciple maker the world has ever known.

It wasn't about how far he went. It was about what he did while he was going. I think that changes everything because as we are doing that, if we have that in our minds and our perspective, it allows us to raise our heads to see people, to ask God, like, God, how do you want to use me today in my job? I'm thinking of stay-at-home moms who are at the parks with their kids, you know? And I remember I wasted so much time in that stage of my life thinking, I have no life. I was around all these other moms and I had an opportunity just to see them, to talk to them, to love them. Dave, I'm thinking of you and all the times that you've coached teams and those times that you would encourage guys or boys that you coached and other dads. Like, you impacted so many dads. When we can lift our heads and see people the way Jesus does, we really are walking out the gospel. Yeah, and I would just add, you know, you want to redeem your time as a man, as a woman, as a worker, as you're walking into your job, whatever job that would be, pray, God, use me today to shine for you and lead people to you. I cannot tell you that the guys I got to lead to Christ as a high school football coach, not because I got them to come to my church, but because standing on a sideline, I had conversations. They asked me questions like, like one guy said, why don't you curse?

Every other coach curses, you don't curse. Oh, let me tell you. You know, it's just amazing to think God wants us to redeem our time and he wants to use it to bring glory back to himself. Yeah, such simple ways to keep our eyes open to how the Lord can use us if we're paying attention.

So good. That's David Ann Wilson with Jordan Rayner on family life today. And don't go anywhere, in just a minute, we'll hear from Jordan on how doing something well, even something simple like time management, it can be a way to reach those around you with the hope of Jesus. But first, Jordan's book is called Redeeming Your Time, Seven Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present, and Wildly Productive. If you or someone you know could use some help with using your time well, I think that's everybody, you can get a copy at Now I've got the president of family life, David Robbins, with me, and David, all this talk about spending time wisely.

I don't know about you, but it gets me thinking about kind of the most important things in life, right? You know, as we're wrapping up this week, it's been an end of the week where I've just been reflecting a lot, reflecting on ministry and life and all that God is doing, and it has me reflecting on those of you who are family life partners, people that give monthly that allows family life to do ministry, because what happens when you give is that you change families. You change families with the power of the gospel. You change families by bringing God's word and the grace and truth of God's word to more and more people. Recently we heard from a family life today listener who told us, and I'm quoting her here, I keep coming back to listen because family life constantly offers hope through the gospel of Jesus.

I need to be pointed to Jesus, and they do this all the time. This podcast encourages me to hope in Jesus. Thank you to the family life crew. And I just want to say thank you for those who give in an ongoing way. You help us bring the gospel every day and bring the depths of who Jesus is to homes around the world. And if you are interested in becoming a family life partner and changing one home at a time, so I want to invite you to give and be a part of pointing families to Jesus every day.

Yeah, that's what it's all about. Thanks, David. And you know, all this week with your donation as our thanks, we want to send you Bob Lapine's latest book, Build a Stronger Marriage.

We'll send you a copy when you give this week at, or when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329. That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. All right, now here's Jordan Rayner on how something, even like good time management, can be an opportunity to reach those around you with the hope of Jesus. If we are distinctly Christian, we are doing our work so exceptionally well, we are redeeming our time, we are the most productive people in the office, but at the same time not anxious and observing the Sabbath and not checking emails at midnight, people are going to ask why. It's otherworldly.

People can't understand it. We ought to be living our lives and doing our work in ways which people have to ask the question to which the only answer is Jesus Christ. That's how the kingdom's going to come, in part through us just being faithful in those things day in and day out.

Yeah, living life strangely different from the world will inevitably cause people to scratch their heads and wonder what that difference is in us. Such important perspective from Jordan Rayner. Now coming up next week, the Wilsons are joined by former baseball player Chris Singleton to tell a heartbreaking story of how the grief of losing his mother turned into a story of hope. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 21:05:06 / 2022-12-29 21:17:31 / 12

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