I’m not sure how you define a shortcut, but for me it’s a way to get somewhere faster. It doesn't necessarily have to be shorter, but if I can get where I want to be quicker, then I’m all for finding a shortcut. There are all kinds of short cuts in life. Like skipping the freeway at rush hour to take surface streets or taking a diet pill to raise your metabolism to lose weight faster (if that even really works). I even look for the shortest checkout lines to get into even if that means cutting off someone who has been there longer. We all do that right? Man, I hope I’m not the only one who does this because then I’m a chump!
But have you ever thought about the cost of shortcuts? Sure they help us get to where we want to be quicker, but we may be missing an opportunity to grow in the process. We often speak of life with God as a journey and on this journey there are lots of choices we get to make. Many of those choices have to do with choosing the quickest path or the most beneficial path, and all too often they aren't the same.
Let’s say you need to develop patience, do you think it’s wise to always look for the quickest path or to start practicing waiting? What if you want to develop temperance, do you think it’s better to treat yourself to whatever makes you feel better or begin to practice saving or self-care? I think we could ably this process to all of our struggles like anger, stress and even envy. Shortcuts don’t just cut off time they can cut into our very life.
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” Matthew 7:13-14 (Message)
Next time you’re tempted to take a short cut, first ask yourself what you might learn if you choose to work through it and then see how God develops and grows you because of it.
Don’t sell yourself short with shortcuts.