Hard Work vs. Workaholism

David MurrayWhether you’re a hard worker, a workaholic, or neither, I commend to you these two recent posts.

Matt Perman defends working hard by looking at Proverbs (Prov 12:27; 18:9; 19:15; 24:30) and Paul (Acts 20:34–35; 2 Thes 3:7–9). It’s worth a quick read.

On the flip side, Tim Challies interviews David Murray about workaholism as part of the Connected Kingdom podcast. As one who throws himself into his work and constantly struggles to keep everything in its proper place, I found it helpful and challenging. It’s worth your twelve minutes.

David shares a number of suggestions for overcoming workaholism:

  1. Take a full week off work in order to examine yourself in the light of God’s work. Ask your family if they think you’ve got work in the right place. Listen to your body.
  2. Confess workaholism to God.
  3. Take every Sunday off work.
  4. Memorize Psalm 127:1–2 and believe it.
  5. Set a reasonable number of working hours per week.
  6. Don’t answer email or make work-related phone calls on vacation.
  7. Schedule daily exercise and family time.
  8. Remember your created limits.
  9. Remember that the Lord has put a curse on work.
  10. Project yourself to your death bed.
So what’s the difference between working hard and workaholism? Is it the amount of work you do? Is it your motivation for working? Or is it an issue of the balance between work and other priorities in life? I’m inclined to think that all three play a role.

See also these recent posts on the 40-Hour work week:

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One Response to Hard Work vs. Workaholism

  1. Dustin B. March 28, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    Any applicational points for seminary students?