Don’t Confuse Your Work and Your Worth

“I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 4:4 (GNT)

We can come up with many excuses for overworking. Sometimes we blame it on needing to provide for our family. Other times we insist our work is so important that to slow down would be negligent.

But usually, it’s a values problem. We start valuing the wrong things. Specifically, we value the acquisition of stuff above all else.

The Bible says, “I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have. But it is useless. It is like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNT).

God says we have two options: We can either spend all our time keeping up with the Joneses, or we can forget them and reduce our stress level—but we can’t have both.

That’s how this becomes a question of values. Do you want more stuff, or do you want less stress and more time with your family and friends? The choice is yours.

Jesus said it like this: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV). Or, “What good is it to become president of your company but lose your kids or your spouse?”

The simple answer? It’s not good at all.

Your work and your worth are two different things. Maybe you grew up being told you’re worthless, and you’re out in the workplace trying to prove everyone wrong. In the back of your mind, you’re telling yourself, “I’m going to show them. I’m going to prove them wrong.” You work harder and harder, but no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough. Just about the time you start to relax, you hear a haunting voice telling you, “Keep pedaling. Somebody’s catching up!” You need to get rid of the voice. It’s feeding you a lie.

As a pastor, I was by many bedsides as people died. I’ve seen many people take their last breath, sometimes at a hospital, sometimes in a home, and sometimes at the scene of an accident. Among all of the people I’ve watched die in my life, I’ve never heard anyone say with their dying breath, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Not one.

Don’t you think it’s time to adjust your values? Get out of the rat race.

Talk It Over

  • How has overwork affected your family? Your health? Your relationship with God?
  • When you’ve struggled with overwork in your life, what have been the primary causes?
  • In what ways do you sometimes equate your work with your worth?

Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

The Bible says we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. Yet God still loves us, even though we sin and we’re flawed. In fact, God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to cleanse us from our sins and to bring us into God’s family.

If you’ve never accepted God’s love and invited Jesus into your heart, I want you to have that opportunity now. Start with this simple prayer –

“Dear God, I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you are for me and that you sent Jesus to save me, not condemn me.

“I confess that I have sinned against you, and I admit I need Jesus as my Savior. I want a relationship with him. I want to follow him and do the things he tells me to do.

“I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. Please save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet, and I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you, and I want to be in your family forever. In your name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed that prayer, let me know by emailing me at [email protected]. I want to encourage you in your journey with Jesus and send you some free materials to help you take your first steps.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.