We live in a society where we are defined by what we do. Many people have the tendency to equate their value from their profession, career and even ministry. This leads to overwork, spending more time at work rather than the things that are more important in life.
Many times, we equate overwork with productivity and accomplishment. We think that when we work harder and longer, we become more productive and we accomplish more. This is not always true.
Overwork, even if done for godly reasons, can be destructive. Not only will it take its toll on your health, it can be a cause of your family’s ruin and can lead you out of your devotion to Christ.
Let’s look at the life of Moses. He was a powerful man of God. However, he is a classic example of an overworked servant of God. He was a man who took on so many responsibilities and he carried the burdens of the people he was surrounded with.
Exodus 18: 13-18 (ESV) tells his story. “The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.”
Jethro knew that if Moses continued to do what he was doing, he would wear himself out to the point of exhaustion. Like Moses, we need to rest and ask the help of others to do what we are called to do. We cannot do things alone.
Overworking is a trap we have to be careful not to fall into. Resting in this overworking society is a decision we have to deliberately make. It is something we have to fight for.
Rest glorifies God. When we choose to rest, we trust His ability, His timeline, His strength and grace to work on our behalf. It is a declaration of dependence and reliance on His power. It is a gesture of humility, saying that apart from Him we can do nothing.
As Christians, we are called by God to live a balanced life. According to Solomon is Ecclesiastes 3; there is a time for everything. There is nothing wrong with working diligently but we must be careful not to overwork.
So I urge you, slow down, relax and rest. Find your strength in the Lord today and allow Him to do mighty things on your behalf.