Our theme for this month: “Take care of your body”
Our Bible verse for today: “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; because you know better, stop! As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.” Proverbs 23:4-5 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Avoid overworking”
I read a sad story once about a very wealthy man who was only in his sixties but he was dying. This man had worked extremely hard and had achieved great success in his business, and he had the wealth and possessions to show for it. But as he lay there close to death, thinking back over his life, he wasn’t proud or happy or satisfied. Instead he was remorseful and grieved.
It seems that this man had been a compulsive workaholic his entire life. He had thrown himself into his business pursuits, and he routinely spent 70, 80, 90 hours a week either in the office or traveling for business purposes. Even when he wasn’t actually at work, he was thinking about it, planning for it, making phone calls, etc. In the process he suffered through three divorces and ended up estranged from all six of his children. He had grandchildren that he had never even met.
To compensate for the excessive stress and strain of working so hard, and for the severe emotional pain from all those broken relationships, he indulged himself in every conceivable luxury, including high-end prostitutes and the richest of foods. So now, only in his sixties, he had lost his health and was about to die. All of his great riches could not give him his health back or restore his broken relationships. He had spent his entire life overworking, and although he earned a lot of money and had a lot of expensive possessions, he had sacrificed the truly precious things in his life.
The Japanese have a word for this, it’s “Karoshi”. Karoshi means, “Death from overworking”. The reason they have this word in their vocabulary is because death from overworking is an epidemic in their society. Newspapers in Japan have almost daily reports about citizens who worked themselves to death, or who were so stressed from their work that they committed suicide. Overworking, karoshi, is literally killing them.
It’s killing some of us too. Some of you reading this work way too many hours under way too much stress. And it’s killing you. It’s killing you physically, it’s killing your relationships, and it’s robbing you of the things in life that are truly valuable.
And it’s not worth it.
When it comes to taking care of yourself by achieving a healthy balance in life, sometimes we need to stop working so much so we can pay a little more attention to the other areas of our lives. We will talk more about this tomorrow.