Are You Glorifying Busyness? The Distinguishing Factor Between Busyness & Productivity
Do you ever feel like you're constantly striving? Do you ever feel like you are stretching yourself too thin, yearning to find balance between your life, relationships, and priorities? If you are, I'm pretty sure that you are a pretty busy woman. Busy working, going to class, attending Bible studies, and ministry events, and all while finding the time to tend to friends and family. I get it. As women, we have a laundry list of things to do and at the end of the day, we're just trying to accomplish something.
Sometimes busy can be intoxicating. Like a drug, it becomes an addiction: we crave it for how it makes us feel -- purposeful, important, and relevant. We live in a day that glorifies being busy. It's all about how many things are on your to-do list, how many meetings and events you have to attend, and how jammed packed your schedule is. Busy does such a great job at deceiving us, that we feel as though it's an honor to wear the badge of busyness. We esteem it. We hold it to the highest honor, affirming the validation and meaning it gives us.
Alli Worthington talks about this a lot in her book Breaking Busy. In the book, she talks about what it looks like to wear the busyness badge. We often run around from thing to thing, fooling ourselves into thinking that we are doing something meaningful by slapping the word "productive" on it, when the truth is, we're doing the exact opposite.
When we are chasing busy, we are doing the things that we feel we "should" be doing, instead of being productive by doing purposeful activity. The distinguishing factor between busyness and productivity is purpose. Busyness is conforming to the world's definition of success and notoriety, instead of living a life that's full of peace and purpose. In the book, Alli describes busy as, "a life without peace. It's marked by decisions made for the approval of the world, not the approval of God. It's filled with what we think we "should" do, what we think will make others happy, and what we think being a good person (or good girl) looks like."
Is that you? To be honest, that was me, unknowingly. A few months ago, I found myself having a mini breakdown because I was so overwhelmed with being busy. I had my hands tied in everything. I was being so suffocated by my schedule and to-do list, that I found myself struggling to gasp for air. The sad thing is, that wasn't the first time I found myself losing control. Busyness hasn't only led me to lose control over my emotions, it has led me to lose control of my health as well. A few years ago, I suffered from skin rashes and acid reflux all in the name of anxiety and busy. The Lord allowed those things to happen to show me that my motives were in the wrong place. I was chasing the wind instead of chasing His peace and purpose for my life.
The Lord honors hard work, but not at the expense of His peace, will, and purpose for your life. Even Martha, a woman in the Bible, had to learn this tenet as well.
"Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord's feet and was listening to His teaching. But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:38-42 (AMP)
Martha's story shows us that even when we are busy doing "good" things, they aren't always purposeful or productive. Martha wasted time that she couldn't get back with Jesus because she was doing what she thought and felt like she should be doing. Are you Martha?
God honors purposeful work that is spent glorying Him, not busyness. Have you being feeling overwhelmed or like you're losing control of your emotions lately? Have you been neglecting yourself, others, or even your relationship with God all in the name of busy? If this is you, I invite you to conduct a motive and heart check. Stop the glorification of busy. It's possible to find balance and live a peaceful and purposeful life. I've created a free mini guided workbook to help you break busy in your life. Click the button below to download yours for free.
Do you find yourself glorying busy at times? Let me know in the comments below.
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