The Christian Public Servant – “get rest”

January 21, 2016 – Thursday

Reading
Exodus 20:10(a) (NKJV) but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work….

Mark 2:27(b) (NKJV) The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Reflection
I have a confession to make. I have sinned repeatedly. For five years I worked 80+ hour work weeks, and that included working every Sunday. Work always came home with me. I worked long past the time when my wife and kids were in bed, and I was often up before them checking my email. I never took a vacation, not even on the Sabbath. The work had to be done.

Oh sure, I begged for relief – but my boss said none was available. Just work harder. My health was breaking. I had no enjoyment in life. My spirit ached for more time with God. And my work, which had been known for its excellence, became merely good enough. I finally had to choose: this job or my life. And so I made the best decision – I walked away from the job. (My boss had to hire two people to do what I did and give a lot of my duties to a third coworker.)

Now, you may say my boss took advantage of me – but you’d be wrong. I let things get out of control by refusing to get rest — by refusing to take a Sabbath as commanded by our Lord. I may have never killed anyone or committed adultery, but I did shatter the fourth commandment! And I was responsible to obey all of God’s commandments.

It’s tough to do, I know. But God commands you to have balance and to get rest. Your job may require working Sundays, but you can still take one day off – completely – for your sake and His. Dedicate that one day to God. (Make it your personal Sabbath.) You cannot be an effective Christian public servant if you are too tired to perform well. You cannot perform well when you are too tired to obey God’s commandments.

So at work today, take a moment to look at yourself. Is there balance in your life? Do you work hard, but do you also get rest? If there is no balance, ask God to show you how to regain that balance in your life.

Today remember, God wants you to be excellent in your work time and in your private time. Honor Him because you work hard. And honor Him because you get rest.

Prayer
Dear Lord, help me get rest and have balance in my life. Help me see all Your commandments were made for my sake. Help me obey You with balance. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Kevin Cooney, Ph. D.
Visiting Professor
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Beppu, Japan

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