In our fast-paced world, busyness has become an idol. We wear it like a badge of honor, boasting about how packed our schedules are between kids’ sports, volunteer commitments, work, and other responsibilities. Our society glorifies busyness, almost as if it is a competition to see who can be the busiest. But is busyness a sign of productivity and purpose? What can we learn about busyness in the Bible? What does it say about balancing busyness and rest?
The Idolatry of Busyness
Often, we treat busyness as an idol. It consumes our time and energy, leaving us spiritually and physically drained. The Bible warns against having such idols in Exodus 20:3, which says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
You may be consumed by busyness if you…
Are consumed by the tasks on your to-do list
Often answer “How are you?” by saying, “I’m just busy!”
Use your busy schedule as an excuse not to do the things God is calling you toward
Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” Busy schedules can be used to glorify God. Still, we must be mindful of our actions to keep from idolizing our schedules and losing sight of God’s desire for us to live on a mission. Maintaining your faith during busy seasons requires intentional efforts, including praying, seeking God’s guidance, and spending time in His presence.
Finding Spiritual Rest
We see the first example of rest in Genesis. After God created the world, He set aside a day to rest from His work.
“And on the 7th day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the 7th day from all His work which He had done.Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”—Genesis 2:2
God recorded His rest in the Bible as a reminder of the importance of rest when carrying out our busy schedules. It is crucial to regularly take time to restore our minds, bodies, and souls by spending intentional time with our Creator.
Busyness often causes us to overlook the blessings and opportunities God has graciously given us. Before God rested on the seventh day, He declared everything He had made to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). In the chaos of our daily routines, it can be easy to overlook God’s grace, guidance, and goodness. We need regular rest to appreciate and acknowledge His work in our lives.
Seeking God’s Presence
To find rest in busyness, we must prioritize seeking God’s presence. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” With chaotic schedules, self-assigned or otherwise, we must intentionally set aside time for prayer and quietness to seek God’s presence.
Taking moments of stillness to connect with God can bring profound peace and rest to our souls. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites us to cast our worries upon Him, saying:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
This verse reminds us that we don’t have to carry the burdens of busyness alone. We can find rest and reprieve from burnout, stress, and anxiety in God’s presence.
Handling Busy Seasons as Christians
What can we take away from our understanding of busyness in the Bible? How should we determine what to prioritize on our schedules during busy seasons? Even in the busiest times, our focus should remain on advancing God’s kingdom. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus instructs us:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
As we work to discern the most important tasks, relationships, and responsibilities on our schedules, our time with God should always come first. When we start each day with intentional time reading His Word and praying, He gives us the wisdom to organize the rest of our day. With His guidance, we can approach each day with a clear purpose for the tasks we need to accomplish.
Staying Focused on Our Purpose
How do we stay focused on our purpose in the chaos of busyness? By following Hebrews 12:2, which says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Jesus should remain our source of strength and purpose throughout busyness and rest. Only He can refresh your soul and energize you to complete the work He has called you to.
The Opposite of Busyness
While busyness is prevalent in our society, we must also be cautious of its extreme opposite—laziness. The Bible offers guidance on this topic in Proverbs 10:4, which says:
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth” (NIV).
Laziness can lead to spiritual poverty and stagnation. Some practical ways we can do this include…
Reading the Bible daily (Psalm 119:97)
Praying regularly (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Seeking God’s guidance (Matthew 7:7)
Find Rest in His Presence
Balancing busyness and rest can often feel as challenging as stacking stones in a raging storm. However, amid life’s turbulent seasons, it’s crucial to remember that God continually calls us into His presence, where we find perfect peace and rest.
In those moments of stillness and reflection, we find the peace, clarity, and strength needed to navigate the storms of busyness. Remember, busyness should not be a badge of honor or the source of our self-worth but rather a reminder to rest in God’s presence for restoration. By reading God’s Word daily, praying regularly, and seeking His guidance, we can navigate busy seasons gracefully and purposefully.