The Idol of Busyness



You are not too busy. There, I said it. In spite of the impression we give to one another. The response most given to a question of how things are going, or how we have been doing is, “I’ve been busy.” It is our go to answer. But are we really that busy? I am not asking what fills up your calendar or how many hours you work and are committed to activities. This is not a call for you to clear your schedule. I am speaking more about your heart. The truth is even when our schedule is clear we allow busyness to rule our hearts. We have bought into the lie of our culture that our identity is in how much we do, how busy we are. Our hearts, our spiritual lives are filled with as much anxiety, worry, and chaos as our schedules. We seem to try to find our spiritual identity in how much activity we can do for God, how busy we can be for God and in trying to be busy we miss the power of the Gospel to speak the rest of God to our souls.


Your schedule is full. You don’t have to defend yourself to me. I believe you have a lot going on. Our culture has formed us to believe this is where our worth is found. But, you are not too busy. You make time for what is important to you. Maybe for you it is sports, maybe it is entertainment, or maybe it is coffee and a quick trip to Starbucks. We will stop the busyness of our schedules for what is important to us. Our time with Jesus should be important to us.


The truth is we have marketed and made our “quiet time” something we do for God. We “need” to read our Bible so we cram it in quickly with all of the other activities making up our busy life. We try to work ourselves up, to get our fill of God, to make sure we complete our checklist of spiritual duties. We want to know God, want to know the presence of God in our lives in a real way, but we are busy, we don’t have time for another activity. We need to get on with our lives and schedules. Whether we realize it or not we have declared we have no room for God in our lives until we decide to get angry because He is not there.


Quit talking about how busy you are and for the sake of your spiritual health slow down. Find time to remember it is not your activity for God that saves you. Turn off your phone and television and just be, rest in God’s grace and presence. Embrace the silence of the moment. We need silence. We need to rest in the grace of God. In Hebrews 4 the author tells us Jesus has made a way for us to enter the rest of God. I think of this many times with the image from Psalm 23 of the green pastures our shepherd is leading us to. God is leading us to find rest in Him. He has created us for this rest. He created us to find this rest daily through prayer and Bible reading and silence, and created us to find this rest weekly through Sabbath and corporate worship. Our schedules, our lives leave us weary and Jesus calls the weary to come to Him and find rest in Him.



The Christian life is not about what you can do for God. Your spiritual health is not found in completing a checklist. The disciplines of the Christian life are not ways we earn God’s love. We read our Bible, we pray, we fast, we fellowship with one another because it is in these disciplines we know God, rest in God. God reveals Himself to us through the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. The disciplines of the Christian life form us into the image of Christ. They are not just spiritual activities to fill out God time on our schedule and we must resist the urge to make them just another activity in an already busy life. Spiritual disciplines are not the ends of the Christian life. They are the means by which we become more like Jesus, the means by which we meet Jesus and rest in Jesus. The spiritual disciplines lead us to Jesus. They lead us to His grace, His holiness, and His love. The spiritual disciplines are activities, but they are activities leading us rest in who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.


Therefore, we must let go of the idol of busyness. You are not too busy. Rest in Jesus. Quit trying to be enough for God and just be. Let go of finding your identity in how much you can do, how filled up your calendar is, and how much you can humble brag about how busy you are. Just be in Christ. In Christ you are loved. In Christ you are declared righteous. You are His. You are not too busy to slow down and rest in the grace of God. You must not be too busy to slow down and rest in the grace of God. Your schedule is not god. Your activities are not god. Work is not god. Turn from the alter of busyness and find time, make time, to just be in the presence of the one who died for you. Make time to just be in the presence of God, to rest in the grace of God. You are not too busy.


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