Be still, and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to treat busyness as a badge of honor? Say you run into a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. The exchange might sound like this:

“Hey, how are you doing? Stayin’ busy?”
“Oh, I’m slammed! You?”
“Yep, totally in over my head!”
“Yeah, me too. Can’t believe the season we’re in right now at work.”
“I hear you. Who needs sleep?”
“Gad to hear you’re doing well!”
“Yeah, you too. Congratulations!”

Doing well? Really? Is being busy truly good? In the eyes of many, busyness is sexy. Busyness is a sign that you’re something. People need you. You’re important. You’ve arrived.

Wait, that’s the lie. Do you see it?

I have a good friend who has bought into this lie and is always busy at work and is rarely home. As a buddy, I felt I could confront him on this situation. He listened, but he became defensive and said, “Doug, I’ve got to stay busy to pay the bills.” I believe that part of his problem is that he has a lot of unnecessary bills that are more tied to status and success than survival. He recently bought his wife a brand-new Hummer. He said he purchased the expensive vehicle because it was “safe.” I’m skeptical. He has also chosen to live in a neighborhood that is above his means, where he can show off his overpriced military artillery vehicle–which he doesn’t really need. So was he telling the truth when he said he was “staying busy to pay the bills”? Oh yeah. He was also busy supporting poor choices that made him feel successful.

This type of living is killing people. It’s destroying marriages, crippling families, shriveling hearts and eating away at the ability to experience the fullness of life.

How about your life? Do you wish you could pull back the throttle of your schedule? If so, the solution is to confront the lies and quit justifying busyness.

Consider this your invitation to stop. Simply allow for small margins of “stop” in the midst of daily life when you can become quiet and connect with God. Cease activity, if only for a few moments and consciously focus your thoughts on God. When you connect with God, you’ll find your focus is clearer, your perspective brighter, your joy richer and you’ll experience more of the fullness of life that God offers.

1. How does the cultural pressure to fill our days affect the people you know? How does it affect you?

2. What needs to change in your life so you can stop and slow down?

John 10:10; Psalm 23:2; Psalm 62:5

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Doug Fields

Doug Fields is the senior director of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers and parents each year. He’s also the author/co-author of 50+ books including: Parenting in a Screen Saturated Culture; Intentional Parenting; 7 Ways to be Her Hero – the One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For; and To Have and To Hold. In addition to Doug’s speaking and writing, he is also the co-founder of and the youth pastor at Mariners Church. Doug has been married for more than 35 years to his wonderful wife Cathy, and they live near their 3 married children and 3 grandchildren in Southern California.

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