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Parkinson's Law

Daily Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3

Scripture Focus: Not busy at work, but busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3.11)

Devotional Thought: Do you know the maxim, "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion?" Do you know it has a name? It's called Parkinson's Law and was coined by the twentieth-century British scholar C. Northcote Parkinson. It points out that people usually take all the time allotted (and frequently more) to accomplish any task. (

In my first job after college, there was a man who worked in our lab at Cooper Tire. He used to busy himself filling up papers with 4, 5, or 6 digit numbers. Occasionally we would find his papers and try to figure out the pattern to the numbers. We never cracked the code. We decided he was filling his time with something that made him look busy.

It happens in The Church. People who are not busy at work, busy themselves with other people's business! Paul ran into it in Thessalonica. They expected Jesus to return at any time. Some of them used that as an excuse not to work. Living off the labor and generosity of others, they had plenty of time to run other people's lives. Paul said of such people that they should just go hungry!

We need to be busy in the church. We need to support ourselves financially, but we also need to busy ourselves with doing the work of Jesus! He has given us the Great Commission, telling us to make disciples. Are we too busy with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to do that? Are we so busy searching the web for the next interesting tidbit of information that we don't have time to study the Word of God and pray?

I find it too easy to distract myself and think that I'm busy. But, what am I busy doing?

Prayer: Lord, help me, like you, to be about my Father's business. Help me to be busy loving and winning and helping others. And, Lord, should I decide to insert myself into someone else's business, may it be first and foremost in prayer! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. 11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalms 32:8-11)

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