When the Virtue Becomes the Vice

But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. – Exodus 20:10

The crippling power of addictions in the lives of Christians remains one of the greatest stumbling blocks the church faces today. It is difficult for the bride of Christ to prepare herself for her coming Bridegroom when she regularly has to deal with alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography obsessions, etc. Our forward momentum in advancing God’s kingdom is slowed because so many can’t break the chains of addiction.

One particular addiction goes largely unchecked because, on the surface, it appears virtuous. Hard work is a virtue, but it can just as easily become a vice. Whenever I used to go on a vacation over the holidays, I would get physically sick. Once I developed an abscess on a tooth. Other times I got the flu or had a persistent cough. At the time, I was mystified as to why this was happening.

On the other hand, I almost never got sick while working. In fact, over four decades of Sundays, I’ve only missed one due to sickness. This caused me to stop and think. I discovered I had some unhealthy ideas about work and rest. Eventually, I was able to correct my thinking, and almost immediately, I saw an improvement.

Workaholism, like all addictions has a spiritual root. Start by surrendering your behavior to God, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform your thinking. A healthy Christian life is one that employs moderation in all things and recognizes both work and rest as blessings from God.