Does Your need for control stress you out?
Add the Sabbath to your rhythm.
What Is the Sabbath?
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
The idea of the importance of rest appears early in the Old Testament, immediately after God is finished with creation. It establishes a divine rhythm of work and rest that we’re meant to imitate. It’s so important, in fact, that when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, observing the Sabbath became law for people of ancient Israel:
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
This mandatory day of rest accomplished at least three things for God’s people:
It established a livable rhythm for life—one that gave everyone the opportunity to rest and recharge.
It acted as a check on people’s pride in their work by giving them time to refocus on God each week.
It reminded everyone of their dependence on God, not their own labor.
Those are all good things, but is the Sabbath for us? It was part of God’s covenant with ancient Israel, but does it apply in the modern world? For Christians, observing the Sabbath doesn’t carry the weight of law. We’re not obligated to do it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valuable spiritual practice. It just means we’re free in Christ not to do things that benefit us if that’s what we choose.
But diving into the Sabbath is a great choice. It honors God. It changes your perspective on time and work. And it sets up a rhythm of intentional rest that will help you to work better and harder when it’s time to work.
Ready to Start Observing the Sabbath?
If you think you’re ready to try observing the Sabbath, download this guide. It will give you a little more background on the practice, as well as some questions you can discuss in a group or reflect on by yourself, and some tips for observing the Sabbath.
Rest and Joy
A common misconception about the Sabbath is that it’s a religiously legalistic act of boredom. People assume observing the Sabbath means sitting around and doing nothing besides focusing on all of the things you’re not allowed to do.
But that’s missing the true heart of the Sabbath.
Yes, there are things like work that you’re not supposed to do during on the Sabbath day. But that doesn’t mean you have to mope around. In fact, you should be doing things that bring you joy—especially when those things connect you to God or to other people.
Reading the Bible and prayer should make up a part of your Sabbath experience (and you should do them joyfully). But a significant portion of the day should also be spent having fun with friends and family.
Remember: Sabbath is about establishing a rhythm of work and rest that adds to your life, not that takes away from it. Done right, the Sabbath will be a day you look forward to each week.
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller
Sabbath: The Ancient Practices by Dan B. Allender
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner