Satan’s bullseye is filled with the faces of leaders. Why? It’s simple. By destroying one leader, he can take out entire families, churches, businesses even nations.
In March, we’ll consider ways Satan attacks leaders. Some are frontal assaults. Others are so diabolical; we don’t recognize their hellish origins. So much has been written about one of the subtle ones, I wondered about saying anything fresh on the topic. Yet, everywhere, I observe leaders struggling with it, some wearing it as a badge of honor. I’m talking about the deceptive snare of busyness.
During my younger days in ministry, I appointed myself as a junior Savior. I already served as minister of music, senior pastor’s wife and a mother. On top of all those responsibilities I took on leading a women’s Bible study, directing Vacation Bible school and expanding various children’s ministries. Additionally, I served on several national ministry committees.
This unsustainable lifestyle led to regular collapses into sickness and exhaustion. I’d huddle in my bed or camp out on a couch and still try to make phone calls, prepare agendas, etc. For years I didn’t understand that I was overloading my body and mind. I wanted my church, our ministry, to be effective at reaching the lost and making disciples. Pure motives sabotaged by over achiever tendencies.
John Maxwell says, “The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness.” When we overcommit ourselves we are robbed of time and energy for higher level thinking. A life with thin margins doesn’t allow time for quiet contemplation with God. How do we know His methods and plans if the only time we spend with Him is in quick, fly by devotions? That might work for others, not for leaders.
Satan knows that some leaders aren’t likely to fall into overt sins of sexual immorality, theft, murder, etc. He still needs to take them out. What can he do? What if he tricks them into overfilling their schedules? Busyness makes leaders tired, irritable, confused, frustrated and engaged in activities that keep them from fulfilling their true hell-piercing destiny.
Use this list of tell-tale symptoms as a tool to help yourself analyze whether you may have fallen victim to this sneaky weapon of our enemy.
Loss of joy in tasks- When there are too many things to do in a day, individual items turn into obligations. Things you used to love to do, you just get through so they can be checked off.
Missing key family moments consistently – the best way to gauge this is to ask your family, “Do you feel like I’ve been absent from your lives too much these last six months? Be certain they understand you want complete honesty as you desire to make course corrections.
Struggles getting to sleep and staying asleep. When minds are too full, they try to solve problems you couldn’t get to during the day, at night, when you should be sleeping.
Feeling irritable and grumpy- Do you find yourself frequently apologizing for your tone of voice and overreaction to normal daily challenges?
Feeling like your failing, letting everyone down. Overcommitted people do wind up letting a lot of people down because they can’t possibly keep all the commitments they’ve made. Even when you manage to keep them, your work lacks excellence.
Feeling a sense of private relief when you become ill. – I used to feel inwardly relieved when I had a cold or flu because then I didn’t feel guilty about allowing myself some rest and down time.
Don’t allow good to chase away best in your life. God didn’t design you to excel at a thousand things. He created you to achieve a few, key kingdom roles and accomplishments. Only by taking the time to listen, really listen, will you know what your destiny roads are.