There is one unforgivable sin, and I have an idea that I may have just committed it. I checked my email first thing. I didn’t mean to do it. I had even begun to write this blog post saying that you should never do it, but then I needed to send a leader a file and the easiest way was to attach it to an email. And then, in all the naked glory of email, I had four or five emails, strikingly bold, telling me that they were deliciously unread, and like the lure of the last moist brownie, I wanted to take a closer look.
This post isn’t about email at all. This post is about living out the call God has on you. You may disagree but I think it is hard to know EXACTLY what God’s call is on your life, but the call that I recognize at the moment is to live out the Three R’s — Reading, Writing, and Running. At the top, I feel compelled that I should write every day.
But I can guarantee you that if I were to make a list of the top 5 urgent things I have to do today (and by the way, I do make that list), writing is rarely on the list, and only appears when I have not written anything for a week and a blog post is due.
My point is this: If God wants me to do one thing today, it is write. If I check my email, there are five other people who want me to do anything but write. If I read their email, I will be compelled to be responsible, to impress them, to please them, to give them reasons to like me, to help them, to encourage them, to love them, to grieve with them, … All good things. But I will have put off the one thing God has asked me to do.
The unforgivable sin is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So I ask you, if the Holy Spirit compels me to write and instead I’m compelled by others (via email or phone), then have I just committed a sin? Don’t over react to the sin being unforgivable. I am being dramatic, but it is certainly a sin not to live into what God has designed for me.
You might suggest I could write later in the day. I won’t. Just as I won’t run later in the day. If I’m going to run, it will be the first thing I do… before breakfast, before a shower, before coffee, after going to the bathroom. I won’t run later. I will read later. That is the one thing I can put off.
Timothy Gallwey wrote this unique coaching model in The Inner Game of Work.
P = p – i
Performance = potential – interference
Email is interference. I’d like to have strict rules on when I check email (such as only at noon and 4:30pm), but I’d at least be 90% better off if I simply refused to check it until after I’ve written 500 words or for 30 minutes or whatever measure I want to use.
Your particular God calling might be best fulfilled by working on it for 30 minutes every morning.
What is the one thing you should do every day before you check email?
What is the greatest interference other than email for the one thing you should do every day?
What do you need to do to commit yourself to this one thing every day?
How does God feel about your early morning choices?