Using dry shampoo means I can skip washing my hair and give myself an extra 20 minutes in the morning. Lining the baking pan with aluminum foil means I don’t spend time scraping and scrubbing the sheet when the roasted vegetables are done. Setting the DVR promises I don’t waste 13 minutes on commercials during my favorite TV show, and using my Keurig gives me fast coffee at the touch of a button.
Shortcuts make our life easier. By nature they are designed to “cut short” the time and energy invested in routine or mundane tasks. Less time spent on what we perceive to be boring translates into more time spent having fun or being more productive. Who doesn’t love a good shortcut?
We live in a culture where we voice text to save time, order groceries online to avoid an hour at the store, or hire a house cleaner so we don’t spend 30 precious minutes cleaning a bathroom. Time is an endangered commodity, but some shortcuts will kill you.
Here are five areas of life in which you cannot afford to take shortcuts.
- Spiritual growth – Are you growing in Christ? Simply put, there is no substitute for time spent in God’s Word. Christian books are good, music is uplifting, but the only truth that transforms us from the inside out is found in scripture. A shortcut to spiritual maturity will kill your walk with Jesus.
- Parenting – Are you loving your kids well? Raising adults is a never-ending, tiresome adventure. It’s also the most important job we’ll ever do. Our kids need us to invest our time and attention with them – even when we’re worn out and exhausted. Be intentional in your parenting and earnestly pray for them. After all, only Jesus can transform that sassy little six-year-old into a respectable young adult. A shortcut in parenting could kill an opportunity to lead your children to the heart of God.
- Emotional wellness – Is your mind healthy? Taking time to care for your emotional health is imperative, and it doesn’t become less important because you’re a busy single mom. It’s impossible to take care of someone else if you’re at the end of your rope. Make time to engage in activities that promote a peaceful mind and rested body. A shortcut to emotional health will kill your endurance for the long haul.
- Finances – Are you spending wisely? There is rarely enough money at the end of the month. Credit cards are a shortcut to making ends meet. Consider cutting back on the “extras” like Netflix or the outrageous cell phone bill. Take baby steps to building your financial plan to balance your income and expenses. A shortcut in managing finances will kill your budget.
- Relationships – Are you involved in healthy relationships? Be selective in who you spend time with. Why date a man who isn’t God’s best for you? Unhealthy relationships and destructive friendships can be toxic killers. It may be a quick fix for loneliness to spend time in a dead-end dating relationship or with girlfriends who bring you down, but they can kill your heart. Say goodbye to the relationships you know God wants you to terminate.
Shortcuts are excellent in the right situation. Don’t take a shortcut toward God’s best for you. You’ll miss a lot of blessings along the way. Sometimes the long road leads to life.
For more resources, tips, and tools for navigating real life, visit our online education center, EQUIP.
About Kim Heinecke
Kim Heinecke wants to live in a world where children listen to the advice of their mothers without question. As a former single mom she’s been encouraging women using her life experiences in parenting, growing in the Word of God and everything in between. When she’s not negotiating with a teenager or wrestling a pre-schooler, you can find her camping in the family RV or pretending to understand sports with her husband and four sons. Read more from Kim at www.TheMomExperiment.com.