If you’ve browsed the average millennial’s social media feed, you may have come across a meme, post or status or two about “grinding,” working hard to achieve success and not resting until a goal is reached. People are proudly and openly sharing that they haven’t slept in days or they haven’t taken a day off in weeks, all for the common goal of success. In fact, a significant part of our culture is largely focused on working tirelessly to reach new heights, and while a diligent work ethic and goal-centered frame of mind are fantastic qualities, especially for a young professional, God does not preach the same message about tirelessly working for success.
The grinding-‘til-I-die mentality negates the need for balance and moves believers away from the principle that we are here to glorify His name, not worship work as an idol. Society encourages a go-go-go approach to life to the point where people are uncomfortable with taking a day off. In those rare quiet times or downtime moments, some may feel lazy, unproductive and off-track.
No wonder people are exhausted as early as Wednesday. However, God created rest for a reason! He deliberately and thoughtfully planned the seventh day to be a day of rest: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:2-3).
So, the constant need to hustle and bustle, work outrageous hours, and perpetuate the “team no sleep” agenda is everything God does not want us to do with our lives. This is not the way of the Heavenly Father. Every aspect of our lives is to mirror His glory on Earth. From work to relationships to habits to hobbies, we can glorify God by what we do, including work; however, if work becomes an idol, we no longer glorify God in such a way that we make His good works visible and understood by all.
Take a moment to reflect on your work life. Rest in His Word. Are you giving God all of the glory, or are your glorying a life without rest, replacing faith with tireless work habits?
Yes, we have bills, commitments, goals and dreams that commonly revolve around working and earning an income; however, rest was created by God and intended to be held to the same regard as work. That’s not to say you should toss responsibility to the side and take on a new, work-free approach to life. Instead, acknowledge that He cares about your well-being. He cares about our mental, emotional and physical health, which is precisely why rest was created and asked of us, too.
So, while you may be tempted to work long hours, refuse to take a bit of rest or set boundaries for your schedule, you must remember Psalm 127:2: “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.”