The weight of a guilty conscience
4 min read

The weight of a guilty conscience

Issue #22: Porn is destroying your productivity, quitting Twitter, John MacArthur's origin story, how not to be a flatterer, the least interesting generation, and more.
The weight of a guilty conscience

Good day to you!

Welcome to another edition of Reagan’s Roundup, the weekly newsletter about personal productivity from a Christian perspective.

🇺🇸 To my American friends, hope you had a great 4th of July celebration! I enjoyed taking a long weekend with my family. And my dog is giving thanks today as the neighbors seem to have nearly run out of fireworks.

Quick reminder: ☀️ POWER Mornings, my online course on Christian morning routines is 50% off this week. If you've been wanting to take it, this is the best time to grab yourself a seat. The sale ends Tuesday, July 13th.

Well, I've got a lot of good stuff in this week's roundup! But I want to start by talking about a serious issue affecting our churches.

Porn is destructive. It destroys relationships, spiritual lives, and, yes, it even destroys productivity. If you're a Christian enslaved to a porn habit, your effectiveness is being diminished.

I came across one article that cited the following statistics:

  • 1 in 5 mobile web searches are for pornography
  • 68% of churchgoing men and 50% of pastors are actively using porn
  • 76% of churchgoers 18-24 years olds actively search for porn

If those stats are to be believed, usage of pornography is rampant in the church.

So I teamed up with CovenantEyes to talk about the destructive power of pornography. I wrote Porn Is Destroying Your Productivity and also created this video on the same topic.

Please read or watch them and consider sharing.

Even if it's not something you struggle with, there's likely someone in your life who does. Hopefully, this can be a resource for them and also offer some hope of escape.

Porn Is Destroying Your Productivity

🎙On the Podcast

I host a weekly podcast on productivity and the Christian life called Redeeming Productivity.

There was no new episode this week because of the holiday, but we'll be back with the season finale on Monday. Make sure you're subscribed. You're not going to want to miss this one!

🧑‍💻Happening on the Web

9 Traits of a Successful Manager that Increases Productivity

There’s some great practical productivity advice for managers in this piece.

Managing other people was the greatest productivity challenge I ever faced. I was pretty good at managing myself. But how do you stay productive when there’s a whole team of people whose productivity you're responsible for too?

(Mike Vardy / Productivityist)

John MacArthur’s Origin Story

My friends at The Master’s Seminary have put together an amazing podcast for preachers and aspiring preachers.

The latest episode recounts the history of how John MacArthur got into ministry. The content of this podcast excellent. But it's also done in a highly-produced NPR style that draws you in and holds your attention to the end. Highly recommended.

(The Master's Seminary)

You Really Need to Quit Twitter

Language warning for this one. But if you can get past a few unsavory words, it's a great essay on social media addiction.

Insightful, well-written, and hilarious.

Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets. That takes only a week or two. Human psychology is pathetically simple to manipulate. Once you’re hooked, the parasite becomes your master, and it changes the way you think. Even now, I’m dopesick, dying to go back.
Twitter did something that I would not have thought possible: It stole reading from me. What is it stealing from you?

(Caitlin Flanagan / The Atlantic)

Ministry Leadership and the Affirmation Game

Powerful lessons on burnout and affirmation.

“I’m convinced that leaders face a unique temptation to seek affirmation in ways that are ultimately unsatisfying. It varies from person to person, but on our bad days we overvalue achievement, admiration, applause, access, and power as forms of personal validation. That which others affirm in us easily shapes our sense of identity—often at the expense of our identity in Christ.”

(Jeff Lawrence / The Gospel Coalition)

Someone Needs Your Encouragement

Speaking of affirmation, here are some insights into how you can encourage people biblically, without being a flatterer.

“True encouragement is not about making others feel better about themselves, but preparing them to know, obey, and enjoy more of God…. Affirmation alone is not encouragement. In fact, it might just be flattery in sheep’s clothes. And flattery poisons what encouragement nurtures.”

Characteristics of godly encouragement:

  • Tells the truth
  • Aims at obedience to God
  • Strengthens hope in God

(Marshall Segal / Desiring God)

Not-to-do list: a conscious way to break bad habits

“While to-do lists are powerful, a complementary method can further increase our productivity: the not-to-do list. As the name indicates, it consists in listing all of the behaviors you want to avoid.”

Love the idea of purposefully writing down the things you are NOT going to do. I actually talked about a similar concept in episode 68 of the podcast, Via Negativa: Why It's Better to Remove than Add Things to Your Life

(Anne-Laure Le Cunff / Ness Labs)

The Least Interesting Generation

This made me want to wrestle a bear.

Before Steve McQueen’s 18th birthday, he had worked on a farm, joined a circus, sold pens at a traveling carnival, hitchhiked and rode the rails across the country, worked as a lumberjack in Canada, labored on a chain gang in the Deep South (punishment for the crime of vagrancy), served a short (and illegal — he was underage) stint in the Merchant Marines, and joined the Marine Corps for a three-year enlistment.

(Brett & Kate McKay / The Art of Manliness)

✍️Quote of the Week

"We must be done with daydreams, and get to work."

– Charles Spurgeon

⌛️That’s All for this Week

Thanks for reading!

If you're enjoying the newsletter, share it with a friend. And as always, you can just hit reply to send me a message.

See you next week!

– Reagan