When Busyness Takes Control

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Sometimes we get wrapped up in wanting to be needed. We want to care for others, and there is nothing wrong with that. Scripture tells us to deny ourselves and to serve others. But what should empower us can drain us if we try to do it by our own strength.

Are you overwhelmed by everything you feel you need to do for others? Often the problem doesn’t lie in time management but in heart management. Busyness can be the heart’s worst enemy. When allowed, it will steal our joy and strength, and it can become the source of our self-worth.

To be effective in God’s kingdom, we must know what we were created for. Without knowing our purpose, we will go through life without priorities or vision, merely hoping we are headed in the right direction. Demands and obligations will pile up and weigh us down with tasks that seem important. But even seemingly selfless labor takes more than it gives when busyness causes us to withhold the time and attention our families or friends really need.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).

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In a culture that rewards temporary achievement and appearance, God rewards faithfulness and substance. You do not need to be on every committee or work chronic overtime to prove your dedication. Your family isn’t looking for weekly burnout as proof of your love for them. Your labor does not define you as someone of purpose and substance. God has spoken the purpose of your life, and all the substance you need is unlocked through the promises of His Word.

Busyness will drive you to care for your family and friends to the point that you forget to enjoy them. When you stand before God, He isn’t going to reward you based on how clean your house was or how quickly you finished all of your work in a given day. He will reward you for how faithful you were with what He told you to do. Your home, work, family and friends are entrustments with which to be faithful, not tests to prove your worth.

Lovely one, you do not have to handle everything on your own. You are not a failure if you have to ask for help.

Is busyness your idol? Are you laboring because God has spoken or because you want to prove your worth? It is time to let go of the little things and embrace your bigger purpose. Do not let this revelation bring feelings of guilt or shame. Instead, repent and let the understanding of your current condition motivate you to change by God’s grace. Pray:

Lord, I need Your help to lay aside the things that fill my day with busyness. Holy Spirit, reveal Your purpose for me. Guide my decisions and help me break free from the obligation or performance that would weigh me down. Help me to stop defining my worth by what I do and to start defining it by who I am in Christ. Show me the priorities You desire for my life, and give me the wisdom to only do what You lead me to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Adapted from Out of Control and Loving It! (Charisma House, 2006). Lisa Bevere is a best-selling author of Fight Like a Girl, Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Out of Control and Loving It! and Be Angry and Don’t Blow It! In addition to speaking at national and international conferences, she is a frequent guest on Christian television and radio shows. She and her husband, best-selling author John Bevere, make their home in Colorado.

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