Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:28

Working Heartily or Workaholism - Which One?

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I have been mulling over what it means to "work heartily" and where do you draw the line before it becomes workaholic?  It's not a very easy thing for me to decipher.  I am not sure why.  Here is what the Bible says about working...

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men

Colossians 3:23 (AMP)

Here is the definition of workaholism:

a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.

"workaholic." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 14 Apr. 2012. <>.

I understand the "work heartily" part.  That's the easy part for me.  The perfectionist in me won't let me do a half-hearted piece of work.  I feel very strongly that, as a Christian, I need to efficiently do my work in a way that is professional, correct, and high-quality, so that I don't mar the image of my Lord.  Nothing but the best will do.  I feel very dissatisfied when I rush through a project because there is another one behind it with a deadline.  I feel like I haven't really done my best.  Sometimes I  have so much work that I may take work home to finish.  I know that's not always a bad thing taken in measured pieces occasionally.  However, at some point along the way my perfectionism is no longer my friend, but rather my enemy.  How much of that perfectionism is "working heartily" as to the Lord, and how much is it "working compulsively at the expense of other pursuits"?

My life is such a balancing act between working full-time, homeschooling full-time, being a wife full-time, being a mother full-time, and following Christ full-time.  I haven't quite mastered the balancing act.  Something always has to be dropped on any given day.  Given that my job keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table, that's a no-brainer.  I put my best into my job.  Since the education of our children is very important, and we have committed to homeschool, that's a no-brainer.  I put my best into educating my children.  My marriage is of utmost importance in my husband's life, my life, and my children's lives.  That's a no-brainer.  I put my best into my marriage.  Being the mother of three children that each have differing special needs is non-negotiable - it's a fact of my life.  That's a no-brainer.  I be the best mom I can be.  As a follower of Christ, being fully engaged with Him, and following His will in all things is paramount.  That's a no-brainer.  I follow Christ with all my heart, my soul, and my life.  See where my dilemma lies?  It's not  possible to do my best with little sleep, run-down health, and no time with my Lord.  So where is the best?  Do I want perfection?  Or do I simply do the best that I'm able, but keep an eye on the meter? 

I can't do my best in just one area and leave the others to decline.  I just need to do my best in all areas, but not perfection, and not at the expense of others.  I guess that's my answer.  If I'm spending too much time on any one thing to the exclusion of everything else, that's not my best.  That's my worst.  Now, how to implement that?

Any thoughts or insights?


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