Sunday, April 14, 2024

How Have Overcommitted Lifestyles Hindered the Church? (Part 2)

By Brian Mitchell

    We need to see our overcrowded lives, as not merely a problem which needs to be overcome, but a problem that has created other problems which are far more serious. This is a problem which hinders the cause of Christ because it keeps us distracted from the fact that our real purpose in life is not being fulfilled. Do we have any doubt where the problem of being overcommitted comes from? It comes from the devil, and when we fill our lives with so many inconsequential activities, we are literally playing into his hands to neutralize our effectiveness in this world.
    In what ways have our overcrowded lives hurt us? First, our spiritual growth and health has been diminished. As a general rule, no one can go at the pace many of us go at without being weakened spiritually. Without taking the time for personal spiritual renewal and growth, our inner resources eventually run out. We soon find that anything related to church has become just a chore to be grudgingly performed. This goes for preachers as well—there are usually a couple of times a year where it is just a real labor for me to prepare my lessons. What I have found when this happens is that my own spiritual life is not what it ought to be.
    “Busyness, including busyness with religion and church activities, has been called the archenemy of spiritual maturity. Never ending waves of activity keep us from thinking about the important issues in our lives. Busyness can destroy our relationships. It can stifle our spiritual growth and keep us from becoming effective difference makers” (Gary Collins, You can Make a Difference). Notice what he included in his statement about church related activities.
    The reason we are always begging for more teachers is so that no one gets to the point where they are just overloaded or called on too often because that leads to burnout. Everyone needs a break at times. “Stress is when your heart says don’t do it, your priorities will suffer—but your mouth says, why sure I’d be happy to do it.” This is one reason that so many, even among the strongest of the Lord’s people, are falling to temptations of all kinds.
    Second, our spiritual effectiveness has been diminished. As a result of being overcommitted, we many times end up being less committed to the things we commit to in the world and in the church. It is generally true that we do a better job of doing what we do when we don’t try to do too much. When our output is too great our results tend to be mediocre at best. Quite often the person who is most reliable in keeping his commitments is the one who is the most careful in making them—Eccl.5:1-7.
    In what ways have our overcommitted lives diminished our spiritual effectiveness? We just don’t have the time to engage in the work of the Lord. “Elders are discovering that it is nearly impossible to find any time for congregational activities and work that does not conflict with a secular activity that some members are involved in.” Thus, our families suffer, our hospitality and bearing of other’s burdens suffers, our worship and work for the Lord suffers, and our reaching out to the lost suffers. All because we are too busy!
    “If you are too busy for the Lord; you are too busy.” If you are too busy to give time every week to building yourself up in the Lord and helping to do the same for others—brethren you are just too busy and you need to start looking for things to let go of.

- Brian Mitchell serves as a minister with the Jackson Church of Christ in Jackson, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at

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