One Helpful Way to Fight the Idolatry of Work

If you have a job, then there’s a good chance you have at one time, are currently, or eventually will construct an idol out of your work. You want to do well, achieve, and be recognized for your work. Nothing wrong with that – God is honored in our hard work and excellence. But the idol slowly starts to take shape when you begin to find your fulfillment in your work alone. You self-worth in the praise of your boss. You validation in the number of appointments on your calendar.

Work can be an idol – just like anything else. And just like anything else, the idol needs to come down. But how does that deconstruction happen? If your idol is pornography, then you need to seriously think about getting rid of your computer. But you can’t get rid of your work. Your family needs you to work. You need to work. It makes the deconstruction of this idol very, very tricky, but here is one practical way to start ripping it down:

Get a personal cell phone.

And make that phone the simplest, cheapest, least cool model you can so that you can barely send a text message on it. This practical step combats one of the ways that more and more of us are becoming worshipers of work – through our devices.

At a men’s retreat this past weekend, a guy in my small group shared his own struggles with this. He had his life on his Blackberry. It was his calendar, his email, and his personal cell phone. Because it was his personal phone, he kept it with him even when he got home. But then the little red light would start blinking at the top.

What’s this? An email? Yes! Somebody needs me! Somebody thinks I’m important! I am validated because I am so integral that I am contacted at any hour!

And when that alluring red light goes on, it’s so easy to just click over and see what’s going on. Even if you’re talking with your wife. Or listening to your kids. So every easy…

So this guy made the tough choice. Even though he had a stipend for his Blackberry, he took on the additional expense of getting a personal cell phone. A not cool one. One that doesn’t play Angry Birds or send emails. Now, when he gets home, the Blackberry goes in the drawer. The Zach Morris phone goes in the pocket.

Work stays at work. Home is central at home. Idol demolished.

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