“I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNT)
We can come up with many excuses for overworking. Sometimes we blame it on providing for our family. Other times we insist our work is so important that to slow down would be negligent.
But usually, it’s a values problem. We start valuing the wrong things. Specifically, we value the acquisition of stuff above all else.
The Bible says, “I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNT).
God says we have two options: We can either spend all of our time keeping up with the Joneses, or we can forget them and reduce our stress level. But we can’t have both.
That’s how this becomes a question of values. Do you want more stuff, or do you want less stress and more time with your family? The choice is yours.
When is enough, enough? You can win the rat race, but you’re still a rat!
Jesus said it like this: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV) To put it in modern language, “What good is it for a man to become president of his company but lose his kids or his wife?”
The simple answer? It’s not good at all.
Your work and your worth are two different things. Many of you grew up being told you’re worthless, and you’re out in the workplace trying to prove everyone wrong. In the back of your mind, you’re telling yourself, “I’m going to show them. I’m going to prove them wrong.” You work harder and harder, but no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough. Just about the time you start to relax, you hear a haunting voice telling you, “Keep pedaling. Somebody’s catching up!” You need to get rid of the voice. It’s feeding you a lie.
As a pastor, I’ve been by many bedsides as people died. I’ve seen many people take their last breath, sometimes at a hospital, sometimes in a home, and sometimes at the scene of an accident. Among all of the people I’ve watched die in my life, I’ve never heard anyone say with their dying breath, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” Not one.
Don’t you think it’s time to adjust your values? Don’t be a rat. Jump out of the race.
Talk It Over
1.How have you seen overwork affect your family?
2.When you’ve struggled with overwork in your life, what have been the primary causes?
3.In what ways do you sometimes equate your work with your worth?