This article was originally published last February 7, 2023 in the writer’s personal page:

I’ve always thought that living productively is all about strategies and tactics. If I could just master the latest trends and apply some tips and tricks then I can be very efficient in my work and moreover be able to maximize my full potential. If I could just minimize all the distractions, then I can be more productive.

Although these things may help in your productivity,  I have learned that the most effective path towards productivity or fruitfulness, as the Bible puts it, is confessing that you don’t know anything.

Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

It Begins with Not Knowing Anything

If you want wisdom in your life, you need to start by confessing your need for wisdom. If you want to bear fruit, then you must start by confessing that you don’t know how to bear fruit.

I think it was Aristotle who said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” In the same sense that the apostle Paul also said, “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (1 Corinthians 8:2 NLT)

The key to fruitfulness is to know that you won’t bear fruit without God’s help. Knowledge and human understanding are not enough. What you need is divine revelation.

The Divine Revelation of Knowing God as the Creator

We need to pray as Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19a)

No one knows fruitfulness better than God Himself. He created all trees that bear fruit and subsequently He created within us the capability to bear fruit and multiply.

Jesus talked about fruitfulness best in his teaching about the vine and the branches. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

Jesus Teaches Fruitfulness

The key to fruitfulness is to remain in Christ. Our fruitfulness depends on our ability as branches to remain in the vine who is Christ.

From Jesus’ teaching on the vine and the branches, we can learn that:

  1. The branch gets its nutrients from the vine.
    Our source of life is God. We cannot bear fruit apart from the life that comes from Him. True productivity or Biblical fruitfulness comes from Him and is sustained only by Him.
  2. A branch that is detached from the vine cannot bear fruit.
    The greatest enemy of fruitfulness is self-reliance. When you think you know all the answers and you think you can do it by your strength, then you no longer depend on God. You are now detached from the vine and you cannot bear quality fruit.
  3. A branch that is connected to the vine cannot have a will of its own.
    You cannot remain in Christ and still have your way of doing things. To remain in Christ is to do his will and to keep his commands.

It takes humility to admit that you don’t know it all. It takes brokenness to say that you need God. If you want to walk in fruitfulness, start by saying, “I really don’t know anything.”

Verge Ascabano

Is a pastor, a worship songwriter, and a productivity buff. He helps motivated but overwhelmed Christian leaders learn how to clarify their focus so they can become more productive and fulfill their God-given purpose in life.