It is amazing to me the extremes to which we as human beings tend to swing. Many people are workaholics while others are lazy. Others eat too much while some do not eat enough. Some people need to learn how to have fun while others think life should only be fun. Extremes are everywhere, and, unfortunately, the church is not immune to them. One of the extremes I will be discussing is busyness.
Is Busy Better?
There is a fine line between busyness and fruitfulness. When the Bible tells God’s people that fruits of repentance or the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in the lives of Christians, many people misunderstand the meaning of fruitfulness in the spiritual sense. Immediately, some begin looking for a job in the kingdom of God because they want to be busy for God. The intent is noble in most cases, and God does not want His people to be lazy and idle However, there is a line that we can not afford to ignore.
Just because someone is busy does not mean this person is fruitful in the sense of bringing glory to God. When a work is being done in obedience to God rather than just trying to appear godly, the results will bring glory to God. In other words, we don’t get the credit. When something such as a ministry is being done for the glory of God, people’s lives are changed. People are set free, delivered, healed, and most importantly, people who did not know Jesus Christ come to know Him.
Being busy, even if it is a Christian endeavor, does not necessarily mean we are being fruitful, or bringing glory to God. One way to tell the difference is to step back and examine your own level of joy. If you are running back and forth, never catching your breath, and never spending time with your family and loved ones, chances are, you are busy rather than fruitful.
What is fruitfulness?
Before I answer the above question, I want to say that God never called us to live our lives so fast-paced that we forget to enjoy the people and things He has given us. He did not call us to run like chickens with their heads cut off (an old saying where I am from). He did call us to be about the Father’s business, and friends, when we are about His business, there is grace to do the work. Joy accompanies grace in your work.
That is not to say that everyone should leave their jobs and work in the church. I am simply stating that we need to know what we are called to and operate within that calling God gave us. The Lord did not call us to do everything. We only need to do those things which God called us to, or, we will not do anything well. It doesn’t matter if you can do one thousand things at once. The question is, how well do you do them? God called us to quality rather than quantity.
John 15 gives a clear picture of fruitfulness. The one who is fruitful abides in the vine. The vine is Christ. We must be plugged into Him through a true, personal and intimate relationship. This is the only way we will know what we are called to. If we try to work for the Lord without truly knowing Him and enjoying time with Him, then we are simply doing dead works.
Take Time to Evaluate
In order to know if you are busy or fruitful, you might need to take time to step back from the hustle and bustle, and look at what you are doing. Then, ask yourself why you are doing these things. Prayerfully, consider if there are certain activities or tasks that you can let go, or, even delegate to someone else who would be willing to help.
It could be that you are neither busy nor fruitful. If you are idle, God is calling you to step out and do something. Ask Him what that might be. If you are constantly on the go and seldom have time to look up, you might need to let some things go. Ask God what that might be.
God called us to live to please Him and do some things well, but we must face the fact that we can not do a million things at once and do them well. Take time to be fruitful, not just busy.