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#40 Seven Ways Busyness Can Harm You

Uncontrolled, unplanned and unending busyness can easily sabotage our lives and cripple our health.

In this episode of “Now Is the Time” I point out seven ways busyness could harm you. I also show you seven ways Jesus managed his work and his rest.

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How Busyness Harms Us

It seems the closer we come to the end of the year the busier we get. Life just has a way of adding to our already packed schedule. It’s not easy to step back and evaluate our level of activity and it’s purpose. However, it is important to analyze our busyness because if we are not careful it can lead to real harm in our lives.

  1. Busyness harms relationships when it focuses on task.
  2. Busyness can drain you physically and mentally.
  3. Busyness can keep you from the spiritual disciplines.
  4. Busyness can cause you to rely upon self instead of God.
  5. Busyness can leave you feeling anxious.
  6. Busyness without a plan is never-ending and may cause you to lose hope.
  7. Busyness without rest can led to burnout.

How to stay busy like Jesus

Often the problem isn’t just in how much we are doing but how we are doing it and why we are doing it. The Gospels show us that Jesus was a busy man. He worked hard, got tired and even once slept in a boat in the middle of a storm!

Yet, Jesus also approached his work in a unique way that made it possible for him to work hard without becoming overwhelmed, anxious or burnt out.

  1. Jesus was busy but he took time to rest and pray. Mark 6:31
  2. Jesus was busy but he stopped to talk to children and the outcasts. Mat 19:14
  3. Jesus was busy but he didn’t try to do everything.
  4. Jesus was busy but he took one day at a time. Mat 6:34
  5. Jesus was busy but he focused on the Kingdom of God instead of just getting another task done. Mat 6:33
  6. Jesus was busy doing the Father’s will, not his own. John 6:38
  7. Jesus was busy but his tasks were planned and purposeful.

I’ve come to the conclusion that, with rare exceptions, the godly person is a busy person. The godly person is devoted to God and to people, and that leads to a full life. Though never frantic in pace, Jesus was a busy man.

-Donald Whitney “The Spiritual Disciplines”

Updates

Pray for Ukraine

I want to thank everyone who has given toward the Ukraine Relief Fund. These funds are continually being used to aid churches in the war zone and refugees outside of the war zone!

Over the last week reports have come in that there are again large movements of Russian troops crossing the border into Ukraine. Pray especially for the Ukrainian held city of Mariupol which has come under attack recently.

Pray also for the safety our friend and student Dima who was drafted into the Ukrainian army.

Pray for online classes

Christina has been working hard this month with our translation team as they finalize the text of one of our online courses. Pray that the team will complete the project soon.

I am taking an online class this month called Effective Online Teaching. This is preparation for earlier next year when I will be offering our first online course in Russian. Pray for me as I complete the course.

Pray for the church in Antratsit

Please continue to pray for the church in Antratsit. This is one of the churches whose building was seized. I recently heard that they may be getting their facility back but no details yet, so please keep praying.

Links

Spiritual Disciplines by Donald Whitney has recently been updated and re-released. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy!

This interview with Donald Whitney by my friend Loren Pinilis is also excellent.

iTunes or Stitcher make getting this podcast on your mobile device super easy.

Ask me anything anytime you want or give me a call and leave a message (747) 221-6478.

Question: How do you keep your busyness in check?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Thanks for the link, Caleb!
    I think a lot of times we don’t like busyness because we have this image in our minds of ease and rest and getting everything done effortlessly. But that’s really just a myth. We need to stay busy in a good way.
    That being said, we need to be on guard against the negative effects of busyness and the negative forms of busyness.

    • Loren you’re fast! I was going to tweet you a link but there your are! Anyway I really did appreciate your interview with Donald Whitney and I’m finding his book very helpful. I’ll probably write a review on it later.

  • I think I’ll pick a copy of that book. I think I might have missed Lorens interview, I’ll check it out.

    God’s really been speaking to me about my focus and how “busy” I am. Some of it I know can be let go of and yet I continually place it on my “to do list”.

    I hadn’t thought of how “busy” Jesus was and yet He was never frazzled like I get. He was never harsh with people because he was sleep deprived. I know I can get snappy with my family when I’m overwhelmed and sleep deprived.
    I did so good this summer at slowing down, but I’m having a hard time maintaining that. Thanks for this reminder.

    • Isn’t it amazing to think of how busy Jesus was yet he never got overwhelmed, worried or frazzled? I know I have a long way to go in working on that!

      • Me too!
        So much we can learn from our Savior.

  • Anna Bachinsky

    Growing up I used to think being busy was a sign that I was somewhat “important” because I had so many different things going on in my life that I didn’t have time to sit down and breathe but over the years I have learned that being busy isn’t the same as being productive. We can fill our planners with so many things to do that we might miss the point of why we even do some of the things in the first place. I love how as busy as he was Jesus always had time to stop for the needy and to retreat from his disciples to spend time with God. That’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way (after getting burned out) and now I know that busy is good when our schedules our guided by God and not our own pursuits. With Him we can find the perfect balance between busyness and rest, because we need both to make it through the long haul in ministry and life. Thank you for sharing this! Be blessed!

    • Anna, I have also seen church cultures where busyness is a sign of spiritual superiority (if there could be such a thing). We tend to think that a busy person is a person who is very productive but the two don’t always go together. Ultimately we have to rely on Jesus to and his ability to produce results. It’s our job to stay faithful and approach our work with a Biblical attitude.

  • His mercies are new every morning. The last ten years have been a great blessing to us for we just enjoy our retirement and thank God every day for His mercy not judgment, His wonderful provision, His special and wonderful understanding of us both. Mark works 2 days a week until 3 O clock for his $200 per week and I am grateful for my aged pension. We pray for the salvation of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem and of course you, Christina and the kids. We are blessed. I look back on my incredibly busy lifestyle with wonder (how did I do it all) and gratitude for a life and job well lived. Praise God we are at this time of our lives for He has been with me all the way. Psalm 121 pressed into my hand when I was just a little 7 year old by a teacher has surely been over-fulfilled.

    • Sometimes I wonder that too, especially when I think of my seminary years when I was running a business, doing ministry, going to school and raising a family! Thankfully God always gives us strength for the tasks that he calls us to do!