Guilt Trippin’

Posted: May 12, 2010 in Batteries Not Included
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been very tired lately.  I don’t know if I’m working harder or getting more done or what, but I’ve been tired.  Some afternoons I can barely keep my eyes open.  But this post isn’t about being tired – it’s about feeling guilty about feeling tired. Or maybe it’s about work ethics.  Or maybe it’s about not watching LOST last week and feeling like I’m falling behind in everything I do because of one missed episode.

When you work in a corporate office, you answer to a boss who pays you your wages, and you have a certain level of responsibility to make sure you get your work done.  Granted, some bosses are more reasonable than others, but at the end of the day, you can still go home and get some rest.  Well, now that the economy is tanking/has tanked and it’s harder to get a job, the scale has tipped in the favor of management.  “What, you don’t feel like working overtime this week?  Well, I’m sure there are plenty of other well-qualified people who would LOVE to have your job..”

Now that I’m serving in the church full time, it gets complicated.  See, I’m supposed to be serving God – and when your boss is the Lord of lords and King of kings, wouldn’t you automatically give your life to Him? Work around the clock, no need for rest, etc, etc, right? But see, that’s what I have a problem with. I do get tired, I do need rest, and when I don’t get the rest I need, I become less productive, I look tired and haggard, and work doesn’t get done. Am I therefore being a less-than-good and less-than-faithful servant? I start to feel guilty about feeling tired, and so I constantly have this cloud of condemnation hanging over my head.

But wait a minute.. is that really the kind of God that I serve? A God who would want to wear His servants to the bone, a God who would make the servant feel guilty for feeling tired? Is that really the message I want to convey to the world about the God I serve?

Serving in the church is tricky, because it’s hard to separate man-made expectations from God-given expectations. Because the church consists of people, there will be expectations from people, and since church is often equated with God, if you don’t meet people’s expectations, then you haven’t met God’s expectations. But that just isn’t right, and I don’t agree with how churches in the past have often laid guilt-trips on people.  I admit it, I’ve done it too.  Doesn’t make it right, though.

Maybe when I’m all caught up on LOST, all will be right with the world.

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