Author: Helen Mitchell
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
The Hebrew word for ‘rest’ in this verse means to refresh, to take ease.
As I watch exhausted people hurry from one commitment and activity to another, I wonder if we really understand what Jesus meant when he talked about rest and why we need it.
For some, to rest would be considered to be lazy. For others, rest is seen as weak and for another, rest may be seen as being unsuccessful. Our society has placed too much value on being ‘busy’ and some wear the label of ‘workaholic’ as a sign of success, honor and esteem.
When the Pharisees criticized Jesus and his disciples for picking heads of grain on the Sabbath, Jesus did not disagree with the Pharisees commitment to obedience to the law, but rather expanded on their understanding of why one should not work on the Sabbath.
“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’.” Mark 2:27
If we do not slow down our physical bodies to rest and recharge, this will soon affect our health, our mental well being and our attitude. And if we are mentally tired we will not have time to be present with the Lord. Isn’t it amazing how the world can look more promising and our attitude more positive after a restful vacation or even after a nap?
Spiritual rest and time with the Lord keeps us grounded in the Word and ready to do the will of God. If we are physically rested, then we are better able to be spiritually rested in the Lord and then we can stand strong and firm in our knowledge in Christ.
The Lord told Moses, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” Exodus 34:21 (NIV) God is placing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rest above work – even when work is busy and prosperous.
Rest is not just a good idea, it is a command. Physical rest keeps our minds clear and improves the quality of our decisions and interactions at work and increases our productivity. Spiritual rest and time with the Lord reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Until next week...
1. What is harder, spiritual or physical rest? Which rest do you need more of this week?
2. If you were physically and spiritually rested, how would that help you at work?
3. Are you or your company valuing the amount of time spent at work or the outcome of your work?