Efficiency isn’t always effective

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[vimeo id="79782169"] Our society is captivated with the idea of efficiency. Leaders do everything they can to make sure their businesses and operations are running as efficiently as possible. The temptation, in the name of effectiveness, is to speed up life and get to the next thing in the timeliest manner. If you’re being efficient, then you’re being effective. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.

However, we know that’s not always true. When we focus so much being efficient people, we can miss opportunities to be effective because we’re too worried about the system or process.

If we want an example of someone who realized that efficiency wasn’t the main goal, all we have to do is look at the life of Jesus. Look at the time He decided to eat with a tax collector named Zacchaeus. Or the time He waited to go and check on His friend Lazarus. Or when He was supposed to be rushing off to save a dying child only to stop because He felt someone tugging on his jacket. Jesus wasn’t always “efficient,” but He was always effective.

If we learn anything from Jesus, it was that He had a plan. It just wasn’t what we would have done. His plan was messy and it wasn’t necessarily efficient. It was all about people. Jesus sacrificed efficiency for the sake of making a difference in the lives of individual people almost every time.

What does that mean for us?

We shouldn’t focus on efficiency to the point where we forget to slow down and look for moments to be effective. The next time we’re tempted to hurry past that person in need because we have a meeting in 15 minutes, remind yourself that being efficient isn’t always the most effective thing you can do.

The next time you make the rounds in the office, remember that making meaningless small talk with everyone for five minutes isn’t nearly as effective as speaking encouragement or truth into someone’s life after listening to them for 15 minutes.

The next time you’re tempted to hurry your kids through dinner because you’re running late and you’ve got a million other things on your mind, remember that engaging them about their day is going to mean more in the long run than getting them to soccer practice on time.

Maybe the most efficient thing we can do today is to look for chance to be inefficient in the way we love.

Have there been times when you’ve forsaken effectiveness for the sake of efficiency?