When You’re Too Busy to Be Godly

Are you a little bored, undercommitted, struggling to find stuff to do? Yeah, me neither.

In a less awkward interview than with Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung sat down with Mark Mellinger to discuss the perennially relevant topic of his new book, Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem (Crossway).

So how do we know when we’re too busy? One telling sign, DeYoung suggests, is when we no longer carve out unhurried time to do the one thing for which Jesus commends Mary—resting at his feet (Luke 10:42). To be sure, the pastor of University Reformed Church admits, life is packed with responsibilities, and the antidote to busyness certainly isn’t laziness. But how often do we cross the line from owning our time to our time owning us, without even realizing it?

Without a lucid sense of our priorities, we’ll repeatedly sacrifice what is best on the altar of what is good. As DeYoung puts it, “Until we know the things we won’t do, we won’t actually do the things we say we should do.”

The threat of busyness is no light thing, DeYoung warns, for such a lifestyle can lead to spiritual damage. Not only do we cease caring for our soul, we forget we even have a soul. In fact, he suspects, “Busyness has killed more Christians than bullets have.”

Watch the nine-minute video to hear DeYoung discuss the snare of screen addiction, the labor to rest, blended and blurred boundaries, and more.

Fighting Busyness from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

  • http://www.thinkpoint.wordpress.com Steve Cornelll

    This will always be a needed focus — especially in pastoral work. The rhythm of spiritual activity our Lord followed is engagement and withdrawal; crowds and solitude. “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:23). We need time to rest, refresh and renew — to get perspective in the audience of One. “Come away” Jesus said, “to a secluded place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). I may not be able to completely clock-out but I must get away. Frankly, I always felt that I had to leave the town I minster in to do this. But this was not always feasible. So at least leave the office or hit the DND button on the phone and put up an “In Prayer” sign on your office door.

    My lifeline in ministry has been a disciplined practice of Psalm 62:8: “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Prayer is so often a perspective gaining session with God. I just need to clear my mind by pouring out my heart to Him!

    “Prayer has become for me much more than a shopping list of requests to present to God. It has become a realignment of everything. I pray to restore the truth of the universe, to gain a glimpse of the world, and of me, through the eyes of God.”

    “In prayer, I shift my point of view away from my own selfishness. I climb above timberline and look down at the speck that is myself. I gaze at the stars and recall what role I, or any of us, play in a universe beyond comprehension. Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.” (Philip Yancey, “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?” )

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