I was always taught to work smarter and not harder. In some ways that can increase productivity and cut costs and time. At first glance, this might be okay and totally innocent, but if you are not careful, shortcuts can become a slippery slope. Shortcuts can be defined two ways: 1.)shortened route to intentionally function at a quicker and more effective rate, 2.)by any means necessary. Taking shortcuts by an “any means necessary” approach is the most dangerous shortcut of all.
Confession time!!! I have had a few run ins with taking shortcuts in life. These shortcuts came in the form of lying, cheating, and much more. I’m sure you might have had this similar experience. Have you ever taken a shortcut that ended up taking you in the direction that you had not initially planned???
It was a late evening, I was rushing to complete a homework assignment for school. Procrastination was a pretty consistent thing that I struggled with throughout my school years.Time was not on my side for this assignment . As I rushed to come up with “good enough material” to turn in, I remembered that I had a previous paper, that I had written that would be perfect for the assignment topic. The only problem was it was considered plagiarism, a fancy word for lying and cheating in the academic world.It was the perfect word count, format, page numbers and everything, I took the SHORTCUT route and resubmitted my own work. A shortcut opportunity presented itself to me that would save time, aggravation, stress and energy. Here is where the “by any means necessary “ comes into the equation. I let go of my values of being honest, capable, hard working take a back seat . Did I know it was wrong and dishonest? yes I did but I still did it. I went on to receive a good grade and passed the class. It dawned on me later that although I had passed, I had just cheated myself out of the ability to rise to the challenge and grow as a writer and student.
I once heard a speech that Denzel Washington gave at an awards event where he was accepting an award for his performance in a film. He said: “Ease is the greatest threat to progress than hardship. So keep moving, keep growing, keep learning”. So if not taking shortcuts helps me, why are so many of us taking them? What is so good or bad about them that we should change?
Shortcuts are momentary mirages of bliss. It will fade sooner or later. Shortcuts often blur judgement and decision making. They tend to either jump ahead of Gods plan and detour our purpose. Shortcuts can lead to temptations and eventually lead to sin. And sin full grown leads to ___?__. If you filled in the blank with DEATH, then you are right!
If you find that you have or are taking shortcuts, take sometime to reflect and then pray about it! Challenges and hard times are things designed to build us up not lead us to our undoing. What shortcuts have you taken? Where have they lead you? What has it cost you? It’s time to break free!!!
Remember God doesn’t like shortcuts because they cheat you out of process he is taking you on to achieve your greatest purpose! Continue to discover, accept and chase your purpose.
Fill in the blank Reflections
Lord I admit that I have been taking shortcuts with/ in my _____________.
I acknowledge that the reason for the shortcut is _____________.
I ask you to forgive me for my shortcut of _____________ and the dark path that it has lead me.
Lord I choose to embrace this challenge because I know you sent it to develop me.