Are You a Workaholic?

Do you ever find yourself regularly looking at your phone to check your emails from work even when it is off-hours?  Is it difficult to shut down your brain from work?  There is the potential you are a workaholic.

Whenever I have had to ask myself if I am a workaholic, I usually find my first response is to become defensive.  A defensive response can go something like this: “God deserves my very best, and I have no shame in working hard.”  So, let’s get this part out of the way.  Work is good.  God created it before sin entered the world.  As humans, we are wired by God to be workers.  Work is good, but it is not your life.

Signs you might be a workaholic:

  • Your brain won’t turn off from your work.  You are physically present with your family, but mentally and emotionally absent because of your work.
  • You can’t take one day a week to rest because there is too much work to get done.
  • Your family relationships are strained because there is always more work to be done.
  • Your value as a human depends on your success at work.  If you fail there, then you don’t know what you will do.
  • You believe the only way you can be productive is if you are working.
  • You have a difficult time stopping to have fun.

A Proverb

Proverbs 27:3 says, “Know well the condition of your flock, and pay attention to your herds, for wealth is not forever; not even a crown lasts for all time.”  If work has become a reason not to know the critical spiritual, emotional, and physical well being of your family – then you are likely a workaholic.  If you have no time to pay attention to the people around you who love you the most in life, then you are probably a workaholic.

A man once came up to me to describe a new job opportunity.  It would pay a LOT of money!  He would also have to work 80+ hours per week.  He asked for my opinion.  I suggested he find a good lawyer because all that extra money would be needed for support payments after his wife divorced him.

Providing for our families is not only about money.  We also need to provide love, compassion, fun, wisdom, support, and so much more.

Stopping the Insanity

I can have workaholic tendencies.  There are times where I have even crossed over the line.  Last summer was the first time I have ever tried to vacation without access to emails – it was hard!  I felt bored and lost at times.  However, it was also a time of cleansing.

If you want to stop being a workaholic, I suggest you start with a day of fasting every week from your phone/emails/text messages and spend it with God and your family.  It will be hard for a few months.  Over time, it will become a new normal.   I have had to learn this step.  It is an act of surrender that declares God doesn’t need me to work seven days to accomplish all He wants done in the world.  He is God, and I am not.  Seriously, try it.  God wants you to work – but He made you to work out of a place of rest in Him.

KIRK GILES is the president of Promise Keepers Canada. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel. You can visit his blog at
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