Its easy for me to lose perspective in my daily tasks. There are two sides to this. On one side, I can get lost in meaningless distractions, prohibiting me from being diligent or productive. I am a slow writer and reader, so this can be extremely crippling for my productivity. Or on the other side, I get lost in my ambition, prohibiting me from being a good father, husband, or friend. I over-estimate the importance of my tasks, make an idol of my accomplishments and self-worth, and forget that God is the one who holds the universe together.
Below are a few things for the ambitious—those who tend to make an idol of work, accomplishments, and their self-worth—to keep in mind:
- You cannot accomplish everything – only God can. God limited the day to 24 hours and designed our bodies to sleep a good bit of it. We should be thankful workers – thankful for sleep and thankful that God is faithful to finish all that he promises.
- The universe does not rely upon your accomplishments – only God’s. It is amazing how quickly people forget how little the world relies upon what we accomplish in one day, week, year, or lifetime. This is a good reminder for pastors. The future of your Church relies upon the faithfulness of God, not the amount of work accomplished in your work week. It doesn’t take long to realize the implications this point should have upon our prayer life.
- We are only the means to what God accomplishes, not the source. A Christian work ethic has at its core the Creator-creature distinction. We are not God, but a created being which God delights in using to accomplish his will. His will does not depend upon our inclusion in it.
- We are only the means to what God accomplishes, not the culmination of God’s accomplishments. It’s easy to over-estimate the importance of our daily tasks. A good perspective to keep concerning our tasks is that they are not the culmination of all God is doing. They are small means to the end God has intended.