In the final talk, the Pattern of Work and Rest, from the Work As Worship series I addressed how at the heart of our busyness is a restless heart. We are busy because we are working hard to meet the desires of our hearts. There is nothing wrong with our desires and passion for our work, these are good things that can produce good fruit of diligence and excellence in our jobs. But where our desires of our heart go wrong, is when our desires get out of control and take over our lives and enslaves us to those desires. Theologian Augustine described this as 'disordered love.' We can tell when we have disordered love by the bad fruit it produces - it will eventually cause harm in our bodies, in our relationships, in our churches and in our relationship with God.
Examine your own heart and check if you might suffer from the following love disorders we can have with our work:
A disordered love to prove yourself will cause you to justify your existence and prove your acceptability through your work achievements. You are always comparing yourself and competing with your colleagues, with those you graduated with or your siblings.
A disordered love to please people is when you keep saying ‘yes’ to additional things because you are afraid of what people might think of you.
A disordered love to gain possessions and money makes you see that ‘time is money.’ Time is no longer a gift from God, but a commodity with a price tag.
A disordered love to gain power through having control over your life. The way you respond to life’s chaos and uncertainty is to have a consuming desire to control your life by super tight time management with the belief that you can do everything and solve every problem, as along as you can squeeze it all in.
Click here to listen to the Pattern of Work and Rest talk to find out how Jesus can transform our hearts to free us from our love disorders and find rest in our lives.
I highly recommend the following books for furthering reading on a gospel empowered approach to maintaining work-life balance.
Matt Perman was a former director of online strategies at Desiring God Ministries and is the author of What's Best Next: How The Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. This book offers a God centred and gospel orientated approach to personal productivity. Personally, having tried to adopt a variety of secular approaches to productivity and leadership, this book has really helped put it all together for me by bringing together world's best practice within a gospel framework.
Tim Chester is the pastor of Grace Church in Boroughbridge, UK and author of The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness. This book offers practical help for busy Christians in re-ordering priorities and addressing the root heart problems that drive our busyness with God's Word. I found this book really helpful in the way Tim insightful unmasks the deceptions that drive our behaviours and how the truth of Jesus can overcome these lies.
Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor of University Reform Church in Michigan USA and author of Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About A (Really) Big Problem. This book helpful affirms busyness that can be evidence of our faithfulness and on the other hand warns about the busyness driven out of pride and unbridled activity. I enjoyed reading this book because Kevin is always clear, biblical and to the point and his style of writing is accessible with a good dose of humour.
Pastor Michael Nhieu