Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting. By Rebekka Hansel
I have a confession to make. As a woman who is in her 40s and surely has better things to do, I still spend an alarming amount of time scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram reels.

For the uninitiated, these are 30-60 second (ish) videos that people make about literally anything. And it’s not totally mindless….I’ve picked up several good low recipe ideas, listened to real estate agents tell me which rooms are most important to update if you’re looking to sell your house, and….because my phone is spying on me and knows my life…an amount of mini goldendoodle content that I never would have believed could exist.

And sprinkled in amongst the recipe ideas, real estate advice, and puppy videos, is actually quite a bit of career advice as well. But a word of caution….taking career advice from folks who look like they’ve only HAD a career for maybe about 7 minutes could be problematic.

Which leads me to this new phenomenon that these social media reels led me to discover: “quiet quitting”.

If you have not heard of it, the general idea is that workers (particularly millennials and Gen Z) are tired of going above and beyond, working themselves to the bone, having no work-life balance, and not being rewarded in their jobs for it. They throw around the phrase “act your wage”, which essentially means that you show up to do your job, you do ONLY your job, you leave at your scheduled time to depart, and you generally don’t do anything else that would fall outside what would be in your job description. 

The impetus behind this phenomenon of “quiet quitting” is that workers began to realize that they were not getting paid for the additional effort they gave, it did not lead to promotions, and they were many times not in any way recognized for the “extra” work that they were doing. So, the natural conclusion to come to, is….what’s the point?

Now certainly, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries and making your own health, family, and other life responsibilities a priority. We should absolutely not be slaves to our jobs. But this idea of “quiet quitting” has made me uncomfortable, and as I see it being referenced on various LinkedIn posts, in social media and in the news with increasing regularity, I began to realize why.

As Christ followers, we have a very clear mandate in Scripture when it comes to the work that we do.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)

You see, believers should not work for earthly reward or human recognition. It IS a fact that if you truly approach your work as “unto the Lord”, the people you work with and for will be hard pressed not to notice. However, our only true Master is Jesus, and His compensation plan has eternal benefits.

There’s actually more to say about this idea of working for the Lord and not for human masters. A lot more. But I actually think there’s another, far more dangerous, version of “quiet quitting”, and it has nothing to do with our day jobs.

What do you do when you become weary in your faith? When prayers aren’t answered, or not answered in the way you imagined? When you are disappointed? When your efforts go unnoticed? 

If we’re honest, many of us are on the verge of “quiet quitting” the good works that God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

The apostle Paul warned the Galatians of this in his letter to them:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the property time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, NIV)

This is worse than a crisis of faith, or even a rejection of the gospel message completely.  This trick of the enemy is far more insidious, because this attitude can creep in without us even realizing it. How many of us have felt like our efforts aren’t noticed? That the hours of time spent serving aren’t making a difference? That WE are the only ones doing the right thing, and for what?

Our prayer time gets shorter. We spend less time in Scriptures. We decline opportunities to serve. We still love God, and we certainly don’t want to lose our eternal security. But we begin to ponder to ourselves….what is the minimum that I have to do? What is the least that God requires?

If we’re honest, what this really reveals is an attitude of entitlement. 

God “owes” me for my obedience.
The church “owes” me for my service. Or for my giving.

The truth is that we deserved judgment but received mercy and grace. Nothing is owed us except the wages of sin, which Jesus paid. So instead of asking ourselves, what is the minimum I can do, consider what Paul, who referred to himself in his letter to his spiritual son Timothy as being “poured out like a drink offering”, exhorts:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

Give yourselves FULLY. That’s the requirement. But the reward is also great.

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:39, NIV)
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Darlys - September 22nd, 2022 at 10:55pm

Go message. In this time on people rethinking their work ethic, it is a good reminder of why we shouldn’t quietly quit our jobs or our steady devotion to God. Thanks!

Dawn - September 23rd, 2022 at 12:00am

Nail on the head! Very convicting. Thank you!

Pastor Brian - September 23rd, 2022 at 12:01am

Very well said - and so timely!