Raise your hand if you’ve ever answered “How are you?” with a “ So busy!” or “Tired!”
In a culture that places so much value on “the hustle,” we can easily find its effects seeping into our lives—even as we try to live “set apart” as the church. Community Groups, Bible studies, Sunday mornings, and friendships all demand our time. Throw in a career, school, a spouse, or a few kids, and suddenly your calendar is jam-packed. We wear our busy lives and demanding jobs as if they were Girl Scout badges, and we’re surrounded by tchotchkes and social media posts emblazoned with the likes of “Boss Babe” and “Slay All Day.”
So how do we live counter-culturally when the world is saying, “do more”? Let’s think about three things:
We’re Designed and Gifted for Work
God, once he finished creating the universe, created Adam and in the same breath gave him “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26). Both creation and Adam’s charge were examples of work. Even before the fall. Whether it’s as a doctor, writer, or mom, our work exists for one purpose—to glorify God.
A couple of our college ladies are pursuing degrees in math with ambition to continue onto advanced degrees. God has given them a passion and a gift for doing it well, for learning it, and for teaching it. I, on the other hand, am horrible at math. On a calculus exam in high school, my teacher graded a test and wrote a note that said, “I have no idea what you’re trying to do here.” She helped to redirect my ill-advised engineering career path to one in marketing and creative that would much better use my giftings.
The ways God gifts and calls us to work matter! Ambition and the pursuit of excellence are not bad things; they’re God-given and God-glorifying when we do them with a kingdom mindset. God gifts us uniquely to do valuable work well, while advancing the gospel.
Stewarding Our Time Well and Prioritizing Rest
Time is a resource we need to steward well. For some of us, that means discerning when we need to say “no.” That doesn’t mean shirking commitments, but it does mean reconsidering priorities. Are you saying “no” to fellowship because a new season just dropped on Netflix, or are you saying “no” to something that keeps you from worshiping on a Sunday morning?
We also need to learn to ask for help. In a “do it all” and “you go girl” world, humility is quickly flung to the side. Pray, and ask God for help in the work before you. Ask your community group to be praying for you, and then ask for babysitting or a meal so you can take a night off! Talk to your spouse or roommate about how you can share responsibilities more effectively.
As you evaluate and reshuffle your priorities, don’t exclude rest from that conversation. Rest is a gift from God, but it’s also a command! The same God who created the universe modeled rest for us. One of my favorite stories in the New Testament is Jesus calming the storm…right after he was woken up from a nap! Rest is not just for physical renewal, but is also an exercise in trusting that God cares about and will provide for every detail in our lives, from raging storms to laundry day.
The Only Identity that Matters
When our priorities are wrong, it’s hard to see past successes and schedules. We’re told we can “have it all,” but that just isn’t true. God has created you to be strong, resilient, and capable, yes, but he’s created you. As in—we were never meant to be limitless, only he is (Isa. 40:28)!
Our identity is not in what we do, but what has been done for us. The only approval that matters has already been granted to us through Jesus—we’re forgiven and beloved. No “Momtrepreneur” mug will ever come close to that!