What the Bible Says About Being Too Busy

“It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.”

“I don’t want to bother anyone, so I’ll squeeze it into my schedule.”

“I don’t mind helping out.”

“I like being busy.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I’ve caught several of the words above escaping my mouth lately. And with those words come the accompanying justification in my mind that says:

Productivity is a good thing. After all, “…every good tree bears good fruit.”

I want to be a good tree. I want to bear good fruit. So how do I know when being productive turns into being too busy?

I always thought Martha was misunderstood. Jesus gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the right way. Mary resolved to spend time worshipping her Lord, but my practical nature can’t help but wonder. If Martha hadn’t been in the kitchen, what would everyone have eaten? Would it display Christ-like character to let your guests go hungry?

I can’t imagine inviting guests into my home and not having anything prepared for them to eat or drink. That’s the defining trait of the do-er. But sometimes, all that doing leaves little time for the most important thing.

Martha and I aren’t the only ones who needed this lesson.

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” Matthew 17:2-4 NIV

Peter was a do-er too. He didn’t like to sit around and wait for things to happen. As a result, he sometimes missed the moments of peace God desired to give.

I can identify with Peter’s actions in the passage above. I know I would’ve done the same thing. With the sinless Son of God standing before me, shining like the sun, I can see myself frantically scurrying about. Do you guys need anything? Here, let me make you a place to sit.

Lord, help me.

Thankfully, from God’s divine words that followed, we learn a valuable lesson for those times when we let ourselves get too busy. Let’s see how God responded to Peter’s gesture.

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5

God knew Peter’s heart, and He knew why Peter responded to this life-changing moment with an act of busyness disguised as an act of service.

Because do-ers like to feel needed, accepted, valued.

So God got Peter’s attention. He interrupted Peter while he spoke and commanded him to listen.

From Peter’s experience that day, we can glean a simple yet important truth.

Being busy can get in the way of hearing God speak. (Tweet this.)

Does God need to interrupt me and tell me to listen? Or will I be ready when the moment arrives?

Being busy is not always a bad thing, and yes, being fruitful is good. But it is possible to get too busy and miss the peace God has given us.

God already values us more than anything. We don’t need to earn it. So as we go about following schedules today, let’s listen for God’s voice. May His words speak volumes to our longing hearts.

Kristine

How to Let Grace Set Your Pace through the Holidays, Part 2

The most joyful season of the year. It’s here, and with it comes the possibility of rushed schedules, tired bodies, and frustrated hearts.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

With intention, focus, and a little time invested, we can change a hectic holiday season to a time when our spirits are refreshed and renewed. Are you with me?

 

 

Last week, we looked at the first two things we must do in order to Let Grace Set Our Pace through the Holidays. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go there first by clicking the title link.

Today we will explore two more musts to help us have the best Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

3. If I need to say no, I'll do so in love. Then I won't fret over hurt feelings.

One year I came down with bronchitis right before Thanksgiving. As a result, we weren’t able to take our yearly trip to Alabama to visit family. I felt awful. Not just about the bronchitis, but about having to miss seeing my mother-in-law on Thanksgiving Day.

I’ll never forget what she said to me though. It’s an ideal she lived by, and taught to us as well.

It doesn’t matter what day we get together, as long as we get to see each other. It’s not about the day, but being together when we can.

We didn’t have to visit on that exact day. We could have Thanksgiving any day of the year! I always remember her words when the demands of visiting everyone over the holidays just gets to be too much.

We may need to make plans in January for a weekend visit, or even February. The most important thing is to let go of the guilt over hurting someone’s feelings.

We can’t do it all, and feeling responsible for everyone else’s feelings won’t help.

 

4. Reflect on my schedule daily, reminding myself of my priorities.

Now that we’ve done the work of setting things in order, the rest of our schedule can be filled with fun activities that will bring joy to the season.

But before adding anything to the calendar, take a close look at it each day. Read through those things you identified as most important, and don’t be tempted to erase and replace.

Did your Sunday school plan an impromptu gift exchange this Saturday night? Did your son’s teacher lose her volunteers for the class party, and she needs you to spend all day tomorrow at school?

If you already have things on the calendar, prayerfully consider your options before making any changes. Remember your priorities. Will these new activities add extra stress for you and your family?

Taking time to review the schedule will help you make the best possible decisions for the day ahead.

 

Above all, let’s agree together to remember why we are celebrating. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year bring an abundance of opportunities to reflect on God's gift to us.

Let’s focus on Him through the holidays, and enjoy growing closer to our Lord this year.

Kristine