Your trust should be in the Lord, not work.
- As a Christian worker, your true trust should be in God – not your job, employer, or work.
As explored in a recent post (link), you should have a God-first, not work-first, mindset. Christian workaholics, those with a work-first mentality, are on the wrong path. Yes, hard work is favored by God and employers. However, being an obsessive overworker is not pleasing to God. What causes people to be workaholics? Worry, greed, and insecurity are key reasons for this type of behavior. Who suffers? An overworker’s family, body (health), and -ironically– work quality.
- Your Health – I’ve personally witnessed 2 people who ended up in the Emergency Room of a Hospital due to work-based stress. One was taken to ER from work (on April Fool’s Day) with severe chest pains!
- What kind of worker are YOU? (8-question Quiz/Rick Warren)
So, are you a workaholic? Is a loved one or close friend a workaholic? Rick Warren, in a fine article entitled “How to Keep Your Profession from Becoming an Obsession” raises questions that people who are obsessive overworkers typically answer “Yes” to. Warren is a minister, writer, and a reformed workaholic. Warren’s questions (and my annotations) include:
1. Does doing nothing drive you up a wall? (i.e. you can’t relax)
2. Are you always in a hurry?
3. Do you find it difficult to say “No” to opportunities? (work opportunities)
4. Do you feel guilty when you relax? (i.e. lying down and resting in ‘green pastures’)
5. Do you frequently find it difficult to turn your mind off at night when you go to bed?
6. Do you procrastinate about taking vacations?
7. Do people around you tell you, you ought to slow down?
8. Do you have to get sick to slow down? (stress is one reason that some workers get sick)
- How many of these 8 questions did you answer “Yes” to?
- While 3 – 4 “Yes” responses should serve as a Red Flag; 5+ indicates you are very likely a workaholic.
Obsessive overworkers typically neglect their bodies -temples God has given them– and their loved ones. Spiritually, workaholics are engaging in behavior -unrestrained working without sufficient rest– which isn’t God-pleasing.
Work, greed, & materialism: What Saith the Lord
People come into this world with nothing, and when they die they leave with nothing. In spite of all their hard work, they leave just as they came. – Ecclesiastes 5:15 (NCV)
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. – Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)
Tips for Christian workers . . .
- In your walk with Jesus Christ, be able to relax, rest, relate, & be righteous.
- Overworking and on-the-job laziness aren’t exhibited by Christians seeking victory – and blessings from above.
- Consider your work ways, acknowledge your ‘real boss’, and the Lord shall make your path straight! Work hard, but never obsessively.
Who do you put first in your life? God? Your work? If you honestly answered Warren’s eight questions, you know the answer to this question. As noted in his inspiring words, on the coffee cup photo above (from one of his books): “Focusing on yourself will never reveal your purpose.” Focus on God, not yourself, your boss, or even your Pastor. If you do, amazing things will happen. The mark of a Christian worker: They trust and lean on the Lord. They know that it’s God, no one else, who allows them to wake up every Sunday and Monday morning, to worship and work.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:10-11 (NIV)