In these days, we find so many different ways to stay busy nearly all of the time. Most of my friends, by this age, have two or so children, work a demanding career, have a spouse, house and car to take care of, various hobbies and so much more. Add the holiday season to that pile and it seems that we never stop. My wife and I do not know how some do it.
But, what does the Bible say about having such a full and complicated life? I find two main points. First, love God. If you have not time to read God’s word, pray, and such, you need to re-prioritize. Numerous scriptures point this out.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10.38-42
In studying this subject in more detail, I find more passages dealing with the why than the what. Why are we working and toiling?
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3.13-14
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12.2
We must keep our eyes on the prize, so to speak. Yet, if the work becomes too great, Jesus stands ready to support us.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mat 11.28
Now, some would suggest that we can live life without much responsibility. While working too hard can certainly lead to problems, I see many more warnings in the Bible about laziness.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Mat 25.14-20
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Prov 13.4
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, Prov 6.6-11
Since the fall of man, we have worked the land to survive and prosper. We can and should ‘work the land’ and do the work of God as called according to His Will and purpose. And, in all things, balance plays an important role.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing Eph 13.1
In this season, I pray that you and I will keep the above points, from God’s Word, in our hearts and mind!