No, I’m not going to read that article

‘Never before has it been so important to say “No.” No, I’m not going to read that article. No, I’m not going to read that email. No, I’m not going to take that phone call. No, I’m not going to sit through that meeting.

It’s hard to do because maybe, just maybe, that next piece of information will be the key to our success. But our success actually hinges on the opposite: on our willingness to risk missing some information. Because trying to focus on it all is a risk in itself. We’ll exhaust ourselves. We’ll get confused, nervous, and irritable.’

–Peter Bregman Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning at Lifehacker (bold added)

In my quest to spend less time on the internet, this really stuck out to me. This article is on being more productive at work, but for me it can apply to being more productive in life by using our time better.

The reason I spend time on the internet other than social reasons–interacting with the friends I’ve made–is to learn. And I have learned a lot. But there is a lot of other stuff to wade through to find it, and as we all know, it’s easy to get off track and spend time on articles or blog posts that may be interesting, but not worth spending our time on. I’m always afraid of missing out on that free book, that great quote, or even that bit of knowledge that may help me understand an important Bible truth that I’ve been wrestling with. But I know that spending time reading the Bible along with Matthew Henry’s commentary, Calvin’s Institutes and learning Greek, as I’m doing now, will be profitable. There is no risk there. So am I willing to risk spending time on the internet to find a few gems and spend less time reading and studying the things that I know will give me a return and more importantly, [how I] worship?

I also need to ask myself, “Do I really need to read that article? Do I really need to respond to that post? Do I really need to defend myself?” Not that there should be no leisure time, spending time on hobbies and areas of interest, or interacting with friends and reading their blogs. But spending an hour in a maze of nothingness is a waste of time compared to reading the Bible or any lesser but trusted people from Calvin to D.A. Carson.

Spending less time on the internet has been something I’ve been working on for a year and I have cut down. But I want to take it a step farther. The above quote adds a new dimension to my perspective on the whole thing.

I’m not sure if the Scripture below is used in quite the right way, but I’ll risk quoting it anyway. I don’t think spending some time on the internet is foolish or like living in darkness, as the context indicates, but we do need to live wisely and spend our time well. Plus it’s more satisfying and I get less confused, nervous and irritable as the above quote says if I spend my time reading trusted authors as opposed to reading about people bickering over secondary or “thirdary” issues. (If scholars can make up words, so can I.)

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.



4 Responses to “No, I’m not going to read that article”

  1. 1 Thomas

    Great thoughts. Very convicting and things that I need to hear. Thank you.

  2. 2 sandra

    thank you for that beatiful word, may God Bleess you.

  3. 3 Eric

    I needed to hear this too. I go off on “bunny trails” all the time, yes, once in a while they yield gems, but usually not. I’m much happier when I stick with the Bible, a good devotional (My Utmost for His Highest usually) and a good Bible commentary. I like to study the meanings of Greek and Hebrew words too. You’re right, it’s definitely more profitable and satisfying. Thanks, Eric

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    This is the most replies I’ve gotten on a post in a long time and I’m probably indirectly encouraging people to not read my blog. I hope mine is one you’ll stick with. But seriously if it brought you closer to God, I would be fine with that of course.

    Thanks for the comments and I’m glad it was helpful to pass along.

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