“Overwork makes for restless sleep. Overtalk shows you up as a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3, MSG)
Leave it up to us to turn a
vice into something praiseworthy. Deep
inside our broken and dysfunctional hearts, we carry a secret pride—although we
never would admit it—in our overwork. In
our hidden places, we think of it as something noble and heroic. In fact, we tend to wear it like a merit
Yet, truth be told, overwork
always comes down to two things—fear and insecurity. Either we don’t think God can do it without us (whatever it may be), or we’re terrified that he will. And I’m not really sure which is worse.
Our tendency to overwork is
an addiction of the highest degree. It
comes from a desperate need to prove to ourselves and our world—and even our
God—that we are worth loving. It comes
from an attempt to make our name great, rather making His name great. It comes from our propensity to try and make
ourselves bigger, rather than smaller.
And, in the process, it robs us of life and health, joy and peace. It leaves us so worn down and burnt out that
we have nothing of substance to offer those to whom God has entrusted to our
Maybe it’s time to “work
smarter, not harder.” Maybe it’s time to
really trust God the way we say we do.
Maybe it’s time to allow him to direct our steps and order our
days. Maybe it’s time that our lives
became about his kingdom and his glory, rather than our own. And it all starts with coming first to him.