"Miwa Sado, a young journalist for Japan's state-run broadcaster, spent the summer of 2013 frantically covering two local elections in Tokyo. Over the course of a month, she clocked 159 hours of overtime. She rarely took weekends off. She worked until midnight nearly every night. On her birthday, June 26, she emailed her parents, who thought she sounded weak. Not quite a month later, just days after the second election, she died of congestive heart failure. She was 31." (https:// www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/world/asia/japan-deathoverwork.html)
The Japanese even have a word for it. They call it "karoshi" or death from overwork. The problem starting attracting attention in the 1980's as an increasing number of overworked Japanese employees, in varying industries and occupations, were dying from the stress associated with an unreasonable workload. The competition in the Japanese workforce is tremendous. The article referenced above went on to say that Ms. Sado "...was a young woman making her way in a blue-chip organization. Her employer is considered one of the most prestigious companies in Japan, a country where exhaustion is often seen as a sign of diligence. A 2014 government investigation found that Ms. Sado's death was a direct result of her work life."
Work, in whatever form it takes in our lives, has an important role to play in our lives. We are encouraged in the Scriptures to "...do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (Colossians 3:23). One way to promote healthy interaction with unbelievers and to provide for our needs is "...to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands..." (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
But the Bible never promotes working ourselves to death. The
Sabbath provisions were given, at least in part, to emphasize the need
for regular periods of rest and reflection. Jesus Himself needed and
sought times of rest and invited his followers to do the same (Mark
6:31). Working yourself to death is never a badge of honor.
God loves you! -Mike