In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of work, deadlines, and the pursuit of success. It has been placed on my heart that I tend to overwork when I have too many things on my plate. I hope to encourage you if you are in the same place.

Many of us find ourselves constantly striving to achieve, to do more, often at the expense of our spiritual well-being and our relationships. Amid this hustle and bustle, it’s essential to pause and consider the impact that overworking can have on our ability to connect authentically with God and our loved ones.

The Deceptive Allure of Overwork

This world is a hustle. It seems everywhere we look, we are told to accomplish. Hit goals. Be the best. Over the years, God has been inviting me into a slowness that goes against my tendency to overwork. It is a tension between the flesh and the spirit. My flesh says, do, do , do…go, go, go. But my spirit says, take time to rest in Him.

If you are like me, you may be thinking, “But this is how I’m wired.” I want to encourage you that you can have the God-given gift of being ambitious while also having a rhythm of rest. You can create out of rest, and honor God by being intentional with your time. We can do this without striving on our own will.

The enemy wants to twist anything to make it something that keeps us worn down, distracted, and occupied with anything other than God. He’ll use whatever to keep us this way. Even our giftings!

Silhouette of Grasses Against the Light of Setting Sun

Our flesh says to overwork, to accomplish, to achieve. It is a real struggle for some of us to not continue to get all of the things done. I tend to put about 35 things on my to-do list for the day. When I put in a solid 6 hours of work, I will have things left over. I want so badly to finish those things before I step out of my office.

The Spiritual Toll of Overworking

When we allow work to consume our time and energy, we risk neglecting our spiritual lives. Instead of prioritizing moments of prayer, reflection, and connection with God, we find ourselves preoccupied with deadlines, meetings, and endless tasks. Our spiritual practices may become an afterthought, squeezed into whatever time remains after a long day at the office or pushed aside altogether in favor of catching up on work.

‭‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭5‬ ‭CSB‬‬

By living in this state of overworking, we are cutting ourselves off from the vine.

Rediscovering Rest and Fighting Against Overworking

I have learned I need to be intentional with my time and energy to be able to work down my to-do list, but also lead from rest. I want to lead, create, and serve from a place of rest. I am constantly wanting to be listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as to what to do next.

Our lives require a conscious effort to prioritize what truly matters. It involves recognizing that our worth is not determined by our productivity or our professional achievements but by our identity in Christ. We don’t need to do anything at all to be known, loved, and seen by our gracious God.

Here are some steps we can take to reclaim rest:

  1. Prioritize spiritual practices: Make time for prayer, silence, and reflection each day. Prioritizing spiritual practices first shows an obedience to God that he delights in. So, even when it doesn’t make sense, prioritize it. You will reap a harvest from God.
  2. Use tools and resources: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time, and stick to them. Learn to say no to excessive work demands that encroach on your time with God and your family. A few tools that I use are:
    • Robe and Crown Time-blocking Planner
      • This tool is designed to lay down your worries first and then prayerfully consider what is a priority for the day. The “Things on my heart and mind section” gives you space to write down the worries or to-dos that are swirling around in your brain. From there you can add your top three priorities. Then end with a prayer to present your requests to the Lord and listen to what He has for you. This time-blocking planner also has space to write your to-dos by the hour.
      • Timer
        • I use a timer to help me stick within the boundaries I want to set for myself. This is a trick I learned from my writer friends who are hoping to get a certain number of words down. So, if I only want to work on something for 30 minutes or an hour, I use a timer.
  3. Simplify your life: Evaluate your priorities and commitments, and consider what you can let go of to create more space for what truly matters. Simplifying your life can help reduce stress and create room for spiritual growth and meaningful connections with the people you love. A resource I highly recommend is Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.
  4. Connect with those you love: Make an effort to spend quality time with your friends and family regularly. God created us to be in community with each other. Engage in activities that foster connection and communication, whether it’s sharing a meal together, going for a walk, or simply having a heartfelt conversation.
Four People Walking on Gray Path Surrounded by Tall Trees

Working is good and God intended us for a good work. But when we let overworking disract us, we start to thrist for real connection with God and others. By recognizing the dangers of overworking and prioritizing true connection with God and our loved ones, we can cultivate an abundant life—one that honors God, and brings us closer to what truly matters.

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