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7 Spiritual Consequences of Living a Busy, Hurried Life

2.) A hurried life feeds “approval addiction.” 

When your life moves at a hurried pace, you seek validation and approval in a hurried way. This explains why social media resonates with so many people. The Instagram photos and Facebook posts give you instant validation. No need to invest in relationships where people actually know you. That’s time consuming. Our culture is “in bed” with large followings and spotlights. The short-term result is validation. But the long-term consequences are burnout, loneliness and over-commitment.

You see, crowds are fickle. Followings are self-seeking. They love you … until you say something they disagree with. I’ve seen this in ministry. A new family places membership, gets plugged in, becomes frustrated with an individual or church philosophy, then strikes out to the door down the road.

Jesus never catered to the crowds. He often retreated from crowds to be alone. He gave his most controversial sermons when the largest crowds gathered around him. In fact, on one occasion in John 6, Jesus said something so controversial that many of his disciples left and never followed him again.

That type of behavior is foreign to American Christians. Our churches often cater to crowds. We love the instant validation from a packed auditorium on Sunday morning. But Jesus didn’t care about Facebook likes or packed auditoriums. Jesus knew you couldn’t point a crowd to God if you needed their approval.

You can’t point people to Jesus if you need their approval.

American Christians could learn something from Jesus. Are we attracting crowds to fill our self-seeking desire for quick validation? On a personal level, are you living the life you proclaim?

You can’t preach the difficult message of self-denial if you attract people on the basis of self-interest. You can’t embrace the scandalous, radical life of Jesus if you need the approval of others.

Jesus knew this. That’s why he disengaged from the crowds. He wanted to be driven by God’s desires, not the crowd’s demands.

3.) A hurried life decreases your capacity to love others.

It’s not a coincidence that the great love passage, 1 Corinthians 13, begins with “Love is patient.” Love isn’t easily angered. Love doesn’t leave at the first sign of trouble. It doesn’t rush to judgment.

Love and hurry can’t co-exist. Matthew Kelly, in The Rhythm of Life, says relationships can only thrive under “carefree timelessness.” And this is something hurried people don’t have. The more you increase the speed of your life, the less capacity you have to love others.

Considering the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others, you need to consider whether your hurried life is costing you more than you realize.

It saddens me to think about the failed marriages that are the product of an impatient culture. I think about the prodigal Christians that have been abandoned because we have no capacity to wait.

Love is patient. Are you?

4.) A hurried life increases the power of temptation. 

Why did Jesus wait until he was 30 to begin his ministry? Why did he immediately go into the wilderness with the Spirit for 40 days after his baptism?

Through my American lens, it seems like Jesus wasted most of his life doing nothing. He could have performed miracles long before 30, and his following might have been larger. Who knows, more people might know Jesus today if he started his ministry earlier.

That’s a no-brainer, God. Why can’t you see what I see?

Because I’m moving at the world’s speed. The 30 years Jesus spent in relative obscurity weren’t wasted years. God was developing an important virtue in Jesus … patience.

Through temptation, Satan tries to decrease the time between impulse and action. And, in our instant gratification culture, Satan has masterfully deceived people.

So many of my mistakes—sex before marriage, stealing, drunkenness, porn addiction—are the result of looking for instant gratification. Could it be that Jesus lived a perfect life largely because he started his ministry with a strong understanding of patience and waiting?

These virtues take time to build. When you nurture patience, you trust God to give you the things IN TIME Satan says you need NOW.