I am thrilled and honored to be sharing over at The Bud Co. blog today!
We learn it from a young age: hard work is to be rewarded. It starts innocently enough, teaching us good work ethic and setting us up for success later in life, but somewhere along the way it morphs into a dangerous message.
We start to hear it everywhere:
We are only worthy when we are productive.
We are only loved when we are the best.
It becomes a cycle of striving, of always keeping up, of never resting. We can’t stop and we definitely can’t fail. We even have a Bible verse to back it up: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23). I mean, who wouldn’t want to give God their all?
So it becomes our addiction—this insatiable desire to do more and be better. Eventually, we find ourselves actually believing that our worth is directly tied to our level of productivity. Have you been there? I have in fact, even in the last 48 hours. I used to wonder what difference it made that I found my worth in my work. After all, I was highly productive and efficient. How could that be a bad thing? So I continued barrelling down the path of self-destruction because I cared more about crossing things off my To Do List than listening to the still, small Voice I knew was calling me to a new way of living. I kept shouting Yes! to too many things and stretched myself way too thin. I was irresponsible with my own time and with the time of others’.
Finally, after years of striving to earn love and acceptance, I reached a breaking point and learned the truth: rooting my worth in my level of productivity was killing my relationship with God and utterly dehydrating my soul.
And, suddenly, everything screeched to a halt. I left a job I was great at, but which fed my addiction to extreme perfectionism, and I found myself nannying, which has nothing to do with productivity and everything to do with simply being present. I took a break from college. I stepped down from a volunteer leadership role and stopped saying yes to new things.
God grounded me, for all intents and purposes, until I learned the lesson He had been trying to teach me for years and we began in the Gospel of Luke. The story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha is short, only four verses long at the end of Luke 10, but it was this story that changed my whole idea of what God wants from me.