Workaholic or Fool
It is a good thing to . . . enjoy your work and accept your lot in life— this is indeed a gift from God (5:19).
There was a man who worked 70 hours a week. Fortunately, he loved his job. He brought home a nice paycheck and provided good things for his family. He thought, One of these days I’ll slow down—but not today.One evening, he came home and his family wasn’t there. The kids had grown up and moved out, his wife had found a career, and the house was empty. He had been newly appointed as CEO. But he had made it to the top—alone.
When Solomon was “people watching,” he observed a man who lamented at the end of the day, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” (Ecclesiastes 4:8).
To avoid following in the wrong footsteps, we need to make three specific choices:
1. Choose contentment over achievement (vv.4-6). Solomon painted two extremes here—the workaholic and the fool. Then, in verse 6, he helps us strike the correct balance. Bible teacher Keith Krell paraphrased it this way: “Rather than grasping for so much it is better to have less and enjoy it more.”
2. Choose relationships over riches (vv.7-12). If we’re sacrificing relationships at the altar of success, we’ve got our priorities mixed up. Relationships make our work meaningful, rewarding, and enjoyable.
3. Choose wisdom over popularity (vv.13-16). Power and popularity are transient. No one will remain at the top forever. So we should hold wisdom tightly and power lightly.
Let’s learn to experience our work as a gift from God, by enjoying it and accepting our lot.
—Poh Fang Chia
Are you spending too much time at work at the expense of your family, friends, and church? Why? How can you adjust your priorities to better reflect eternal goals?