We are a generation of busy people—working hard but hardly living. Getting enough rest, replenishing rest, is often at the bottom of our priority list. But, why?
All of us have reasons we don’t make rest a priority. Some are self-imposed, like people who stay continually busy in order to avoid pain and disappointment. Others live a life of constant motion because they’re trying to please others or keep up appearances.
Of course, there are busy seasons in life, like a couple with a newborn baby, or an accountant during tax time. But for some, being busy all the time seems to be a badge of honor.
To be sure, there is a time to work. God uniquely created each of us with talents and abilities to make a contribution in life. We may be good at what we do and find satisfaction in a job well done. But there is also a time to cease from our labor.
What are some of the lies we believe about rest? When we acknowledge them and release them, then rest and inner peace can replace worry and fear, and things can begin to change.
Read each one listed here and talk to God about what is keeping you from getting the rest you need.
1. LIE: I can do everything, and do it all on my own. This is the person who believes she has to make it all happen, to do everything for everyone and do it all by herself. Some may call her a martyr; others may call her a control freak. She believes her way is the “right” way or she feels she must save the world. The truth is we are sorely deceived when we think are a Junior Jesus. We don’t save the world; He already did that for us. It’s the ultimate deception when we think we are like God or we are God. (Genesis 3:5)
2. LIE: I feel guilty when I rest. I used to think rest was a luxury for a privileged few. It was a time in my life when I was short on funds and working three jobs just to stay afloat. It didn’t seem fair. I came across the book, When I Relax I Feel Guilty by Tim Hansel and learned that I had a right to rest. In fact, rest was God’s idea! (Genesis 2:1-3)
3. LIE: I don’t deserve to rest. Rest is a gift. You don’t earn it. A slave driver mentality is not from God but the enemy, the one who is out to destroy you. The truth is, when you come to know Christ you are set free (John ).
4. LIE: Rest is a waste of time. In reality, taking time to renew your weary self is time well spent. It’s an investment that will pay off physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally because you will be a better you—for others and for yourself. Stopping periodically to get refreshed ultimately helps you get the job done more effectively.
5. LIE: If I rest, I won’t get it all done. That goes back to the fundamental question of whose agenda you are following. A major heart shift happens when we begin to realize that life is about God’s plan, His story. We live for God, not for ourselves. He will enable us to get done what He wants accomplished each day when we are surrendered and willing.
Have a productive day—and then get the rest you need to live a better life.