The Myth of God-Drivenness

By Dr. Scott Rodin 

What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 2:22–26).

This is a challenging text. It leads me to consider the following (and equally challenging) conclusion: God will not call you to a job or work that requires you to lead an unbalanced and unhealthy life in order to be successful. We are all familiar with the logic formula, “If A is true and B is true, then C must be true.” Using that formula, let me share with you an A, B, and C that may prove disturbing to many of us.

A) God created us to live balanced and healthy lives. This includes time for work, time for family, time for fellowship and community, time for worship, time for rest, and time for devotion. Our lives reflect God’s intention when each of these areas is given proper attention

B) God created us for work. He calls us into leadership roles that use our skills and allow us to serve him in whatever work we do. Whatever the job, it is a gift from God, and he intends us to employ our skills with excellence in carrying it out.

C) God created us to live balanced and healthy lives (A), and if he created us for work that was meaningful and productive (B), then we must conclude (C) that God would never call us into a job or vocation that required us to sacrifice a healthy and balanced life in order for us to be successful.

How many of us are working sixty-plus-hour weeks, sacrificing marriage, family, and devotional time, believing that this amount of work is necessary to be successful leaders in the work God called us to do? Do you see the illogic of it? But worse, do you see the inherent evil that is being unleashed by a misunderstanding of God’s intent?

How many marriages are being broken by one spouse’s breakneck schedule? How many parent-child relationships are damaged by a parent who is never around, distracted by a “leadership calling” believed to be from God? How many men and women in leadership have moral failings due to a dryness of spirit that resulted from a work schedule that squeezed out every available moment for activities that built their reputations and left nothing that refreshed their souls?

It is a sin to be so driven. And it is a more grievous sin to believe that our drivenness is somehow the will of God…
The Steward’s Journey
*Dr. Rodin is the president of The Steward’s Journey, whose mission is to inspire and equip God’s people to be free and joyful stewards of life. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.

In various seasons this has been a challenge for me to find and keep balance. Is easy to add new things to the plate that are good things and often are draining, but not all essential for balance. Rhythms in days, weeks, months and seasons can help. What’s worked for you that I could also apply to my life?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: