The Unhealthy Trap of Over-doing

So often, the success of my day is determined by the boxes I check off on my to-do list. There’s such sweet victory in marking two simple lines the meet in a “v.” Laundry – check. Dust – check. Schedule a lunch – check. Clean out closet – check. Make a phone call – check. Schedule a doctor’s appointment – check.

A completed t0-do list is like a trophy. It cheers in excited jubilation, “You did good today.” The more I do, the better I feel. So I keep doing, doing, doing, in order to feel valued and affirmed. Doing can be addictive.

Some of you see this as crazy. Others of you can completely relate. But however we see it when we connect our doing to defining our value, we can step into the unhealthy trap of over-doing.

In ministry, I have found it incredibly easy to over-do:  

  • I can fill my hours and my thinking with all the things to do FOR God and yet completely miss spending time WITH God.
  • I can actively serve others by meeting their needs and disregard my own.
  • I can teach a bible study, serve a meal, welcome at the door, invite others to church, share a phone call to a hurting friend, lead music, serve in the nursery, encourage my husband and completely miss any intimate, private, one-on-one time with the Lord.

That, my friend, is not healthy and can leave us feeling disengaged and exhausted.

Healthiness GROWS out of the SMALL -those quiet, still, daily moments with Jesus. Those times when you quiet the noise and sit alone with your Bible in your lap and your heart open to Him. With no spotlight, no acclaim, no applause, no atta-girl from anyone else. Only you and your Father.

Jesus knew the importance of this in this midst of his earthly ministry:

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31, NIV

It can actually feel much harder to go to a quiet place without all the activity. But, it is vital.

Be careful not to live on the fumes of who you know him to be. I am so guilty of this.

Don’t get so focused on others that you miss your own needy heart.

Don’t get distracted by the good work and miss the intimate moments of engaging with the king of Kings.

It will not be time wasted. Healthiness GROWS here. And from the small springs peace, joy, contentment, and a deep purpose that no amount of doing can build.

Before you attack your to-do list today, prioritize spending time with Him. Find that quiet moment. Open your heart to him by sharing what you are worried about, weary from, and have no answers for. Avoid the trap of over-doing and reach out to him. Invite him into your tasks. All the good things that you can do for God will never match the impact of a surrendered heart.