By: Kyle Hargrove, Licensed Professional Counselor
Have you ever had to live with the realization that the lesson you are currently learning is one that you’ve been taught before?
As well, the pain you’re enduring is the same hurt you felt in that previous situation. If this “been there, done that,” loop seems to communicate the lesson in an eminently clear format, why in the world does it have to be driven home more than once?
Reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest one morning, I cringed at the title alone. “Do You Worship the Work?” There are those of us who find ourselves constantly operating from within this framework and put simply, words like these simply aren’t what we want to hear (again).
Financial pressure? Work more, harder, and longer.
Daughter getting married? Dive deeper into the work – it’ll pay the bills.
Needing additional transportation? A mere 10 extra hours a week of work will bridge that new car payment gap.
Things not perfect at home? Find refuge! Stay at work!
Haven’t yet met your potential? Seeking more recognition? Need affirmation? You’ll find it all, and much, much more . . . at the office.
And don’t even start with all the clichés about dying people never wishing they had worked more, and spent less time with their families. Don’t ask the question of having ever seen an armored car following a hearse. Heard ‘em all. Been there, done that, bought t-shirts, and, one would think, learned lessons.
Why is it such a constant battle for many of us to keep things in priority? Did anyone ever actually teach us that our identity should come from our mode of employment? Our profession? It’s easy to say, but hard to live it out. And to be truthful, if working more or harder is the default answer, there is a fairly important cause undergirding it. Make all the excuses you want or care to come up with. (Never mind the energy expended) It’s easy enough for most of us to do. I’ve done it, and have found that I’m actually quite good at it.
Seeking the affirmation or results we crave through our work, at the expense of literally everything and everyone else important in our lives has become a standard for many. Man or woman, it really doesn’t matter. But the truth of the matter lies in that we really know better. We know that we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” We can’t forget that of faith, hope, and love, “the greatest of these is love.”
But still, our work is our identity, our “go-to” guy, the rock that doesn’t roll, old faithful. And what is revealed in our lives when the layers are peeled away usually gets us to the heart of the matter. It is that again, we have found, that we are worshiping at the throne of something – anything – except the One who gave us all. And He did not tell us, “I have come that you might have work (or fill in your own word), and have it abundantly.”
An extraordinarily wise counselor and friend once said to me, in a season of crazed crises, “There are times when God will remove the ‘do,’ in order to reveal the ‘who.’ Inescapably, this realization always seems to come as a painful and costly reminder.
I can’t speak for you – whoever you are. Maybe it’s time for some of us to revisit God’s purpose for us on this planet. A check-up from the neck-up, if you will. It shouldn’t be all that hard because we already know what the answer is not.
PS: We have a conference this month, can still grab a seat! Stop feeling alone in your marriage! Learn boundaries and confidence and how to navigate conflict. Click here.
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The Greater Impact Podcast features audio versions of some of the most inspirational and compelling Greater Impact interviews with great people (Nina Roesner, Kyle Hargrove, Doris Homan, Shysha Lewis, etc).
Please note: This information is NOT meant as relationship or business advice, as we cannot possibly know your individual situation. Even if we did, the Holy Spirit has His way of doing things, which none of us fully know. Please listen to God over anything we EVER say! Participating in any place in the community is an agreement to hold Greater Impact, and all of our volunteers and staff harmless for any outcomes as a result of decisions you make based on what you learn here.