Getting tired is a natural part of life. After a full day of activity, more than likely you are tired and ready for bed, and rightly so. But what does the Christian rapper that has a full time job, along with a rap career do after work? Or the middle school teacher who went on a field trip with 200 students, but is also a pastor preparing a message? Or the stay at home mom with toddlers but also owns her own Christian counseling service? Or the college student who is an athlete and raising money for a mission trip? It is understandable that these people may not rest, but it is not at all okay.
God has given us all a purpose in life, and we should not take that calling lightly. Everything we do should be to the honor and glory of God. But if you’re tired, you need rest. Why is that easier said than done for some Christians? Christians get tired too, but more often than not, we keep going, adding on task after task. Not because it is a God-given assignment, but because we can. There is nothing wrong with doing good when you can, but it takes wisdom.
Every good thing is not a God thing.
But what about many of us that are tired and need rest, but don’t take the time to rest? The results of not taking time to rest can cause lethargy, carelessness, and stress. What is the importance of rest and does it apply to everyone?
1. Rest allows you to function better.
Someone who can do multiple things may feel that means God wants them to do it all. He wouldn’t have given you so many talents and abilities if He didn’t want you to use them all, right? Wrong. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time and place for everything, including rest. Just because you can do everything, does not mean God wants you to do everything. Why would He? Jesus came that we may have life abundantly. We should have abundant love, joy, peace, happiness. How can we have this abundant life when we are working ourselves crazy? You can’t do what you need to do if you’re doing too many other things. Extra tasks wear you out. When we do what we are called to do, the Kingdom flourishes. With the proper rest, we can be sure that we are giving God our best.
When we don’t take time to rest, but choose to work tirelessly, it shows.
2. Rest keeps you healthy.
The hustle of hip-hop culture has taken a foothold in Christians. Today, culture is focused on making money. Work, work, work to make as much money as possible. Sounds like a plan, until your body says no. Headaches, stomachaches, tiredness are signs from our bodies that 10 hours of sleep a week is not enough. Stress is one of the main reasons of lowered productivity. God did not create us to work until we passed out. He wants us to give Him our all best each and every time we work. If we do not have rest, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Our bodies are temples that should be taken care of properly. Don’t mishandle the temple you are called to worship God with.
3. God rested.
After the marvelous work of creation, on the last day, God rested. That is enough reason in and of itself to take some time to rest. God, the Creator and Maker of all things good and perfect took time to rest. God stopped what He was doing to, as the Hebrew meaning suggests, celebrate, cease, be still. If the Almighty God took time to rest, why can’t we? I don’t believe He rested because He needed it, but to take time to enjoy His work. What a great example. How often do we move from task to task, project to project without taking a moment to even enjoy what has been accomplished? Life is demanding, but if God can rest, so can we. The moment we take to reflect leads to the moment of praise and worship to God. Don’t miss an opportunity to thank God for all He is and has done because you are too busy.
Our skewed view of God is the ultimate reason we don’t rest. We have to let go of the thought that God will be mad for telling someone ‘No’. He’s not. He would much rather you turn someone down than to handle something that you were not assigned to. Honestly, burn-out is a result of the ‘Superhero Syndrome‘. When we think we are invincible and powerful, we begin to act on that. God wants us to fully rely on Him and not put the weight of the world on our shoulders. Often our bodies tell us we are not the superhero we thought we were.
God does not want you stressed.
Stress and burn-out are not God’s best for your life. It is not a badge of honor to be stressed for God. It just shows that you are not being a good steward of the talent and time He has given you. You should enjoy the work you do for God. When you begin to detest God’s work or His people, burn-out is sure to follow. Make sure what you are doing is what God has called you to and that you aren’t doing it just to please people or to prove something to yourself. Rest is of God. It’s not that we can’t afford rest, we can’t afford not to. If we keep working without rest, we will miss the sweet peace we get from His presence.
Are you more familiar with rest or stress?