Keeping Work in its Place

Keeping Work in its Place

By WOVEN SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2016

Happy Fall from the EGC Woven crew! I want to share a tidbit of wisdom from one of the table groups at the May Woven Consultation to help us stay balanced this fall:

Don’t let your work be an idol—
Seek healing for the holes in ourselves.
Be whole in God
Be rooted in Christ.

As we know, letting something be an idol means looking to something other than God to make our lives worthwhile—to make life worth living or give us personal worth. Idols cause anxiety and imbalance because they can never be as secure or enduring as our relationship with God.

Over the years I’ve contended with the idol of achievement. I’ve mis-measured my life‘s worth based on how much I was accomplishing. When I give in to that idol, I overtax my body, cut corners on my spiritual life, and rationalize emotional chaos as the cost of doing business.

Others may be tempted to make idols of their work in other ways—maybe they lean too hard on their work to give them respect, purpose, or power to provide, not ultimately trusting God for those needs.

How can we avoid making work an idol? I find these prayerful reminders helpful:

1. God, my life’s worth (or dignity, or provision) comes from You. My work is just what I do for now.
2. Lord, help me make today be less about working for You, and more about walking with You.
3. Holy Spirit, help me to draw work boundaries in places that are pleasing to You.

I’ll leave you with the wisdom of one Woven participant—“We see success as fulfilling our mission in life, but God sees our obedience as success.”

Want to write (or video?) a personal reflection for the Woven community on what helps you stay balanced? Let us know! Email Jess at jmason [at] egc.org. 

Jess Mason is a licensed minister, spiritual director, and research associate in ARC@EGC. Her passion is to see God’s goodness revealed to and through Christian leaders and pillars in the Boston area.