by Rick Warren — January 7, 2023
From Living in the Goodness of God
“Work and get everything done during six days each week, but the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God.”
Exodus 20:9-10 (NCV)
In the Bible, a day of rest is called Sabbath. It’s when you take a day off from work—not just from your job but from any kind of work.
God didn’t make the Sabbath for his benefit. He made it for yours: “The Sabbath was made to benefit man, and not man to benefit the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 TLB). God made the Sabbath so you wouldn’t get burned out.
But many people ignore their need for the Sabbath. When you ignore God’s laws, who gets hurt? Not God. Ignoring your need for rest only leaves you exhausted and overwhelmed.
Taking a Sabbath may be particularly difficult if you’re an entrepreneur, self-employed, or work remotely. If you don’t schedule a Sabbath for yourself, you’ll never take a break.
No matter your work situation, it doesn’t matter what day of the week you take your Sabbath. It’s just important that you do take one! Just like you schedule everything else during your week, you need to schedule your Sabbath.
What should you do on a Sabbath?
- Rest your body. In the French Revolution, government leaders abolished Sunday as a day of rest but later restored it because the health of the nation had collapsed. You might think, “But I feel guilty when I relax.” Follow Jesus’ example. He didn’t feel guilty for taking a Sabbath day; he made the Sabbath a priority.
- Recharge your emotions. You can recharge your emotions through quietness, solitude, recreation that rejuvenates you, or spending time with people.
- Refocus your spirit. Worship puts your life into perspective. This includes both worship at church and time alone with God.
If you start obeying God’s command to observe the Sabbath, what will happen? You will actually end up with more time. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life; jealousy rots it away” (TLB).
Remember, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You don’t even have to prove your worth to God, because you are already infinitely valuable to him.
You can take a Sabbath because you can rest in God’s goodness and love for you.