Consciously or unconsciously, we often want to look good in the eyes of our Christian leaders or friends, so we feel like we must be busy, or at least look busy. How can we avoid this trap?
I like what Wayne Jacobsen said in Finding Church: “The urge to ‘do something’ when we feel insecure is the driving force behind much of our fruitless busyness. We sincerely want to do something for God, but we are frequently motivated by fear or obligation, and believe that being busy is God’s will.”
When I was a college student I worked for IBM one summer at their plant. I often finished all my work ahead of time and felt compelled to excessively clean and organize just to look busy for my boss. Another busy person was Martha. She and her sister invited the Lord into their home. Martha was busy getting a meal ready for Jesus, but she was critical of her sister—and Jesus! “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” She was busy, busy serving in her strength and for her recognition.
A friend reminded me recently that Jesus was pleasing to the Father before His public ministry: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Serving God does not make you any more pleasing to the Father! Serving God should flow from our security in Him and His love. What is your motive? Are you doing some-thing to appear spiritual or important in the eyes of man?