Is Busyness A Punishable Sin, Or Why Sermons Are So 1677 (Part 4.5)

They say productivity and busyness are the new sins crippling Christians today. Don’t ask me to define “they,” but I have heard that dozens of times. The modern corporate culture which countless church goers are apart of seems to demand a hurried and full life. It seems like every church has a sermon on the need to slow down and say “no” more often and remember to value relationships over projects and accomplishments.

Invest in coffee companies – that’s my advice for navigating this culture.

And though affair scandals are the, hehe, sexy sin to discuss, really the tendency to turn into a workaholic is the more common issue. I know lately it feels like one of mine, I haven’t read any blogs lately and I’m too worn out at the end of the day to write my own. (That’s my passive apology for not being on top of the Charlie’s Church of Christ game lately.)

But my question is – don’t we have it better than anyone ever has in history? So why are we so busy? I mean I stick my clothing in a machine that washes them. I’ve been in Guatemala and watched people carry their laundry to the lake to clean them. It wasn’t exactly a quick process. Not to mention we buy so many premade ingredients to make our meals they are made quicker and easier than ever.

We drive in cars to get where we need to go. So what the heck is occupying all of our time?

I think the busyness of our culture is why we segregate faith. We speak of our work life, our family life, our recreational life, and our Christian life. Now more than ever we live life divided, and so it’s only natural that we can easily make a category for our faith.

I didn’t start this post with this intention, but this connects beautifully with my on-going series about sermons. We go to church and hear the sermon to satisfy our faith life, and we maybe even go to a small group on Tuesdays, but it’s easily disconnected from our other lives. I think how we frame what we do as “church” and by default all other things are not “church” only perpetuates the different lives we have. We may see our faith life happening everyday but just being with fellow believers  – we may see church happening several times a day rather than once a week.

Why do you think we so easily compartmentalize faith? How can we avoid this pitfall? 

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11 Responses to Is Busyness A Punishable Sin, Or Why Sermons Are So 1677 (Part 4.5)

  1. Carolyn says:

    Hmmm… why do we compartmentalize faith so easily… because we can? Because everything in our culture tells us to and we let the PR people do it… “here’s is how you make this faster so now you have more time to do the next activity we have for you…” Maybe if churches had some “sexy” message of “here’s how to do your work and play faster so you have more time for church, Bible reading, and God…” hahaha… I have no idea. How can we avoid this pitfall? Being intentional. Being intentional. Being intentional. Did I mention being intentional? God wants us to CHOOSE Him… not just have him as an app running in the background… (for the record, I don’t have a smart phone, so I don’t have any apps – but my friends do and think I should). The more we make time for God, the more the Enemy will try to find ways to distract us. Age-old warfare with a new digital twist.

    Having said all of that, I have felt in many ways that I have been having “church” here on the internet with many of you and it has been rewarding.

  2. I get a little bit tired of “preachers” telling “me” to slow down.

    As well, I get a little bit tired of preachers accusing dads of being workaholics.

    Having been accused of it, I gotta say – I’m not a workaholic.

    There’s just a lot to do. And it falls on “my” shoulders.

    I find it hilarious that often those SAME preachers are B@*&ing at the lazy college kids who don’t have a job. “If you want a girlfriend, get off your butt and get a job!!!” And five years later, the same kid, who now has a job that demands he work 60 hours a week, hears the same freaking preacher say “QUIT SPENDING SO MUCH TIME AT WORK AND FOCUS ON YOUR WIFE AND BABY!!!!”


    Life is a busy thing. Sometimes it’s a fight to get HALF of what needs to be done, done. Sometimes the periods of rest only come out of desperation.

    And I don’t mean to compartmentalize preachers, but for a guy with a particular lifestyle that feels he has it all under control to openly and harshly criticize a guy that he feels does not have it all under control without ever looking at the “why they’re there” reasons, violates the age old proverb about walking a mile in another guy’s shoes.

    In other words, a lot of people who scream that so-and-so is a workaholic probably don’t have the financial problems that the “workaholic” does. I guarantee you the guy isn’t just working to make more money because he loves money. And he MAY not even be making more money by working more; it’s just necessary to work more in order to keep the job. He’d LOVE to take time off. He’d LOVE to go to the lake. He’d LOVE to go to the beach. He’d LOVE to come home early once or twice a week. But the house, the cars, the insurance, the medical bills from the babies, the cost of groceries, the cost of baseball equipment for the kids, the cost of gas for the cars, the cost of trying to be faithful in giving to the church whose pastor swears that tithing cures all financial ills, the cost of cable TV and internet, the cost of cell phones for teenagers, the cost of Christmas presents and trips to Disney, the cost of paying somebody to fix the dang cars because he wants to spend what time he has off with his sweet wife and kids… Yeah. Workaholic. Uh huh. Yeah, right. I know some GREAT preachers who don’t go “here”. But way too many are really deceived into thinking that everybody should have this magically balanced life, and it’s just not always possible.

    So where’s the REAL problem?

    (sorry for not actually answering your question – I just kinda got going there… )

    • man I love your replies! That was very poignant, I may have fist pumped once or twice. While some are definitely hooked to their jobs and maybe even choose to invest so much into it, there are plenty more who, as you say, have to work that hard. It’s not an option to not work that hard. I agree sometimes it seems like you gotta bust your butt just to get half of the list done. Well done again sir!

      • I “sound” like a real know-it-all on the internet, but I really don’t know squat… 🙂 Glad I could help with the fist pumping. But I really do get torqued off at the over-use of the word “workaholic”.

  3. David says:

    Faith is life for me. Some days I am at church, and yesterday I found myself talking about it to a young guy that works for our firm. It was the same electrifying Holy Spirit moments that I used to think only happened at the altar.

    Our entertainment and gadget oriented culture is the product of successful marketing. Honestly, how many people read email and texts at stop lights on a smart-phone? All the breaks that used to be built into our day while we waited for the pot to boil are filled in with new gadgets. There is pretty much no such thing as 9-5 with an hour’ lunch. We had to have flat screen TVs, Disney vacations, and two new cars so now both parents working is the norm for most of the USA. That means less time for kids – and wow, lots of couples not even having kids because it’s too much work once they are here! 😉

    All this has bread a generation of self-absorbed, have it now people that don’t have time for God, for each other, and even families. How great is that? I know couples that pretty much only spend time together on vacation in between calls and emails from work.

    Our family eats dinner together every night at a table without cell phones, texts, and TV. We have a huge breakfast every Saturday morning, and we do NOTHING on Sundays except maybe go to church, read a book, or take a walk together.

    • Labor Day is a joke holiday these days. So many companies are afraid to be closed because they’d miss out on sales that they miss the whole point of the holiday – to not work! To not care about the sales for one darn day. It is so ironic that with all of the advancements to make life easier and more convenient we are more occupied than ever.

  4. In todays high energy society, “take it slow or slow down is” ancient history. We have so much digital input coming at us 24/7 that we cannot keep up or we ration out our time to all the wrong places.
    Of course the economy also dictates we stay one step ahead of our neighbor in order to keep our job so we can buy more of the good life or pay the Dr. bills that pile up from life over loaded with stress or bugs that get you down. Then you have the so called good friends ( back stabbers I call them) that induce more stress.
    Quite frankly, I yearn to tell most associates where they can go and dump the politics of business life back into the back stabbers laps and take off for a well deserved break from cell phones, time schedules, demanding clients, and freebe seeking tenants on a remote island just watching the incomming waves with the wife , and no kids.

  5. theoldadam says:

    I think we are all self-obsessed idolators at heart. So we naturally gravitate towards all other things, instead of the Living God.

    I think this is (our state) is why He had to come and die for us. There wasn’t any chance or any way that we were ever going to take God seriously…so instead He takes us seriously, even though we in no way deserve it.


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