“WISDOM OF LIVING (37) TOO BUSY”                   By Pastor YAU

Text: Revelation 3:14-22                                                October 16, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   Dashboard dining: The term “dashboard dining” has come to signify the growing practice of eating while driving to save a little time. Popular freeway fare includes yogurt in squeeze tubes, soup in heat-and-sip containers and cookies that fit in cup holders. One consumer product analyst says people increasingly want food items that can be eaten quickly and easily while on the road. In many homes, a leisurely meal at a table is becoming an endangered luxury.

2)   The world demands it: Today we live in multi-dimensional society that demands more out put, better results, diversified ability and efficiency. Many of us wearing many hats and perform many diverse functions. All these demand our time which we do not have. Some will choose to prioritize and do what they can while others try to do everything that have come their way and stretch so thin. Meeting demands is always a tough decision.

3)   A symbol of success: The world defines success in several terms and being “very busy” is one of them. Many people equate being busy as being important or bearing many responsibilities which in turn means successful. While we usually agree on the relationship between many responsibilities and being very busy, certainly not all of us would agree to link very-busy with success. We see some very busy people who are not that successful and some successful people who are not that busy.

 

WHY ARE WE SO BUSY?  Even with the convenience of modern means of transportation and communication, people today are much busier than our parents’ generation. Many people just can’t finish their day’s work within reasonable hours of the day but why?

1)    We got sucked in:  Many people got sucked in by the philosophy of this world that being busy is a good sign. It may mean that you have many responsibilities you are important and are a high achiever, have much more to give and are respected. Some people may even dismiss people who are less busy as less useful or successful. When we buy in to these beliefs, we got sucked in to becoming very busy and feel good. But we all know that being very busy does not equal to being productive or successful. Yet many people are still proud of their being so busy.

2)    We want more:  Many people get themselves so busy because they want more: more money, more material possessions, more pride and more personal satisfaction. Almost all those who work so much in their job or jobs fall into one or more of the above 4 categories: money, things, pride and satisfaction. You want more, you have to pay a price and the first price is on their time.

3)    We try to do everything: There are people who are nice guys trying to do everything everyone else ask them to. This happens at work, at home, between friends, at church and in social circles. These people just can’t say no. They are afraid that saying no may offend someone. So they want to make every body happy and therefore are very busy. We all want and need to be helpful. But to do everything everybody asks is just too much.

4)    Twisted meaning of life:  People with average intelligence love to have meaning in their lives. Most people want more than just being able to survive. While we all search for meaning of life, some will devote their lives in being busy. We call these people workaholics. They get themselves so busy just to enjoy being busy. They find personal satisfaction and meaning in their busy life. But this kind of belief is so empty and meaningless in itself.

 

THE HARM OF BEING TOO BUSY:  Being too busy is harmful in many ways. God has set in each one of us measures of energy and ability to fulfill duties He assigns to each of us. God also has set in our lives duties and concerns we need to attend to. To jeopardize the balance of life as God designs for each one of us is going to hurt us.

1)   It hurts our bio-rhythm:  This is the first and the easiest symptom any one can see in living a life that is beyond the stretch God allows us to. Either by choice or by force, life too busy is harmful to the body in many ways. From fatigue to stress, from indigestion to high blood pressure, from tension to nervous breakdown are all possible due to over work and under rest. Many people hurt their health condition by stretch too thin their physical strength. We are not iron men nor are we invincible. Our bodies may collapse under excessive pressure.

2)   It hurts our productivity:  Very few people can handle many things at the same time and do all of them to the best of their ability. Concentration and focus are needed in producing the best of our ability. When we are too busy in too many things, we tend to spread too thin in order to cover all grounds that we may lose focus and therefore our best possible productivity.

3)   It hurts our relationships:  Men do not live only for work. We live in communities with others. Relationship with people around us provides meaning, identity and emotional support we all need. From family to friends, from social interaction to community, we build relationships to give and receive personal attention, care, fun and support. When you are too busy to spend time to cultivate relationship, you tend to neglect the nurturing and relationship may deteriorate. Many marriages were broken and children become delinquents all because spouses and parents are too busy to care.

4)   It hurts our spiritual growth:  Like everything else, our spiritual life needs time and nurturing. People who are trapped in life too busy tend to neglect their spiritual needs much less growth. They won’t have time with God in personal devotion, reading the Bible and prayer. Some even skip Sunday School, discipleship and worship just to catch up with their worldly responsibilities. Most busy people are drawn to worldly values and purpose of life. Their share of contribution in God’s church is stolen by their busy life. Their usefulness in God’s Kingdom is lost. All that they may gain in this world will be counted useless and there is no crown for them in heaven.

 

WHAT DID JESUS SAY?  (Rev. 3:14-22) Directly and indirectly Jesus gives warnings on those who are too busy to get rich, their miserable spiritual condition, steps they need to take to make a return and the tremendous rewards they may receive if they follow His instructions:

1)    When E. F. Hutton speaks: (3:14) Couple of years back, there was a TV commercial portraying E. F. Hutton, an authority in finance and investment, sitting in a noisy restaurant. When one of his friends asked him for advice on investment and he started to speak, the restaurant went dead silent because he is the authority and everyone wants to hear what he has to say. In the scriptural reference, Jesus was the supreme authority as described in 3:14. As the ruler of all God’s creation, He deserves our full attention when He speaks.

2)    The good-for-nothing condition: (3:15-16) In this passage, Jesus was talking to the church at Laodicea and us by application. He described the spiritual condition of that church, and those who are too busy for their spiritual growth, as lukewarm or good-for-nothing that he will spit it out from His mouth. This is the exact condition of many so called Christians. Because of their keeping a long distance from the Lord due to their being too busy, they will be spit out from the protection and blessing of God. This is a very serious warning.

3)    Facing the truth: (3:17) Most, if not all, of those who are proud of their being too busy think they are making it: they are rich, have acquired wealth and do not need anything else. The pride and the false sense of self worth push them to feel they are on top of the world. But in the eyes of God, they are just poor, wretched, pitiful, blind and naked. All these descriptions are applicable on the person himself while riches and wealth and need nothing are things in the world. There is nothing in this world that may increase any worth of a person before God.

4)    Steps of turning back: (3:18-20) As in the story of the Prodigal Son, God is always merciful and is looking for the return of His children. Here God offers practical steps for those who are far away from Him to come home:

a)    Come back to God for complete remedy. (v.18) God has means to make you really rich, ways to cover your shameful naked body and salve to clear your eyes so you can see.

b)    Discipline and repentance: (v.19) Too many Christians will not come back to God in repentance until they were disciplined in suffering, loss and pain. This is also a step of God’s mercy.

c)    Open the door of your heart: (v.20a) The Lord is waiting on the outside of your heart for a long, long time and it is up to you to open it to invite Him in. Inviting Jesus into your heart means to ask Him to be the Lord of your life and to allow Him full control of your future.

5)    The ultimate reward and glory: (3:20b-21) There are two level of rewards God has promised to those who are not too busy for Him: to dine with Him in close relationship and to sit on the throne with Him and God His Father. These are symbolic language to give us a glimpse of the glory and blessing if we set time apart to cultivate a close walk with Jesus each day.

6)    The encouragement: (v.22) “He who has an ear, let him hear.” That is an invitation of God to us in His mercy. If people in the world are so attentive to hear E. F. Hutton on monetary matters, Shouldn’t we Christians be more attentive to hear what Jesus has to say on spiritual matters?

 

COMCLUSION:

1)   Breaking the bondage of busyness: Being too busy is a vicious bondage from Satan and the world to pull us away from God. Ask God to help you break that vicious cycle so you will always have time for Him.

2)   Redeem time: (Eph. 5:16, KJV) If you have lost so much time in being too busy in the past at the expense of your family, your children and your church, you need to “pay back” (the real meaning of redeem) to put your time back where it belongs: your family, children and your church. They are the real treasures you need. Nothing you are so busy with is more important than people.

3)   No time for your soul? Are you too busy to take care of the needs of your soul? When your lease of life expires, do you have a place you may go for eternity? Take a little time to ask God to save your soul. Take Jesus to your heart and receive His forgiveness of your sin. Don’t take chances. Time may run out faster then you think.