Editorial: Excellence

Excellence in productivity is summed up in the book “The Five S Pillars of Productivity.” It has become the standard text on how to increase production in the workplace. Many of the principles which develop excellence in the work place can be applied to spiritual life. The Lord told His own: “Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Let’s apply the Pillars of Productivity to our spiritual lives.

Only the tools that are used directly to accomplish the goal are allowed into the work area. This is the first pillar of productivity and is called “SORT.” Ever wonder why you are not fruitful? You will not let go of every weight (Heb 12 :2). Wonder why you are bogged down? A careful “sorting” of our thought lives and actions would clear the way for true fruitfulness. Get rid of all bitterness, wrath, evil speaking, and all anger (Eph 4).

Every tool must be “SET IN ORDER” and have a specific location. This is the second “S” pillar of the 5 pillar program. The tools that are used for accomplishing the task are organized in the order that they are used. There are many legitimate aspects of our lives but they must be “set in order.” Paul tells us that he counted “all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ” (Phil 3). Skating, skiing, and shopping may all have their place but… at the “back of the bench.”

The third pillar is the word “SHINE.” Productivity is built around tools that are clean and in great working order. Are we careful with our minds each day so that they have had a good shine [confession and forsaking] and are ready for instant use? Timothy is instructed to be a vessel “fit” for the masters use. A defiling video or novel would hardly be the way to develop the fitness necessary to be used by God.

All productive Christians have developed standard practices in their lives. This behavior is the fourth pillar and is known as “STANDARDIZE.” These believers are at all the assembly meetings and they set aside time each day for the Word of God and prayer. The Man of God is always developed in the standard practices of life, areas in which he proves faithful. There were no sudden bursts of faithfulness in the lives of Mordecai, Samuel, or Moses. It was rather in the grind of standard faithfulness that they developed the character that led them to become the giants of the O.T.

The final pillar is SUSTAIN. This is not a plateau that is reached, but a sustained increase in spiritual development. Caleb, at 90, was ready to say, “Give me this mountain;” Daniel, at 90, was ready to deliver the news of big changes in kingdoms. John, at 90, was ready to give us the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Why? Because there was no flat line in their spiritual lives. We need to be constantly measuring ourselves to insure that “sustain” is not just holding on, but a pattern of growth in our spiritual lives.