The Burden of Busyness

Mary has chosen what is better. (Luke 10:42)

Did you know there is a major difference between busyness and productivity? When my father would remind me that “Idle time is the devil’s workshop,” he was not simply talking about keeping busy. Rather, he was talking about being productive. Let’s look at a few of the differences between “busyness” and productivity:

Busy People                               Productive People

Do hectic work                              Do holy work

Are driven by pleasure                 Are driven by purpose

Focus on action                              Focus on outcome

Speak about results                       Their results speak for themselves

Do many things at once                Prioritize important things

This list could easily be expanded to fill several blogs, but it can also be distilled down to one major distinction: The lives of busy people are marked by burden; the lives of productive people are marked by blessing. It was well said that “He who burns the candle at both ends isn’t as bright as he thinks!” Those of us who are burdened by busyness, as busy Martha was, can hear the Lord calling our name and admonishing us, “You are anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). From a biblical perspective, the burden of busyness robs the child of God in two profound ways:

  • Busyness Robs Relationships – In order to grow in our relationships, we must invest in both quantity and quality time. Busyness robs us of both in the most important relationship we have: our relationship with God.
  • Busyness Robs Restfulness – Without adequate rest and recreation, our health suffers. An overloaded schedule crowds out regular exercise and the time it takes to maintain a healthy diet.

What is the best way forward when you sense the burden of busyness encroaching on your life? Go back to the encounter between Martha and Jesus and see what our Lord said about Mary, Martha’s sister: “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40-42). What had Mary chosen that Martha did not? Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Mary had been busy helping Martha prepare the meal for Jesus and His disciples, but Mary knew when to stop the busyness for a priority of far greater productivity: Sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His teaching.

And therein lies the key that unlocks the door to easing the burden of busyness. Draw near to Jesus and He will draw near to you. Then the work we perform will be done for the glory of God and the good of others, not for self-satisfaction. Yes, we will be busy, but we will be busy being a blessing.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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