The Gospel invites us to join in the rest of God, to sit at the feet of our Father, and to savor the warmth of His love and embrace. The Good News of God’s outrageous love for us produces rest.
Are you living in rest?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself recently. Am I resting, or am I striving?
I’ve found that a good test for whether or not I’m living in rest, is to measure how much joy I have. If I feel joyful and content, there’s a good change I’m living in rest. If I feel worn out, tired, and frustrated, there’s a good chance I’m not living in rest.
Paul writes that we are “seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” 1 That reality is the dominate reality of our existence as His beloved children. We are more in heaven, where our Father is, than we are on earth. 2
The product of resting in Christ is joy. So I often have to ask myself, “am I living in joy?” If not, I need to pause for a minute and figure out why.
Recently I’ve been coming to find that I am less and less living in rest. I’ve been busy over the last few months: I’ve published a book, started a business, and I’ve continually worked to improve this website. With all that I’ve been doing, if I’m honest, I sometimes find myself not living in rest. I am always thinking of what I should be doing. “I should write a blog today. I should improve the business today. I should…”
I’ve been should-ing on myself!
I’ve put pressure on myself to perform, instead just being. I’ve started realizing this over the last few weeks: I need to rest!
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar position. Maybe you feel stressed out, burnt out, of just plain tired. Just rest! 3 Productivity is important, but there’s a difference between being productive from rest, and being productive from performance.
The truth is that rest = more productivity not less. The difference between resting and striving is where you start from. Rest starts from contentment; unrest works for contentment. The later works to earn something, the former works from something.
We should be productive and active in our lives, but not outside the context of resting in Christ. The writer of Hebrews talks about entering into God’s rest, making clear just how important it is. Rest is so important that even God does it! 4
Are you resting? Are you living in the Joy of Christ?
It’s easy for me to slip into a performance mentality. To combat this, I’ve decided to change the way I talk to myself.
I will not “should” on myself today.
I will no longer judge my acceptance with God, or my contentment in life, on what I am or am not doing. Productivity doesn’t determine my worth, my Father does.
I will no longer beat myself up whenever I don’t do the things I think I should. I will be intentional with my rest. I will take joy seriously! 5
May we enter into the Rest of Christ, and live a life flooded with joy!
Will you join my in my journey of no longer “should-ing” on myself? Let me know in a comment below!
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- Ephesians 2:6 ↩
- Which is of course not to say that earth is in any way void of God. The two are inseparable. It’s a false Aristotelian idea that says heaven is “somewhere else” apart from the earth. ↩
- I know we all have responsibilities, rest doesn’t mean ignoring our lives, but rather, we should be able to manage our responsibilities while living in rest. ↩
- See Hebrews 4:10 ↩
- I always love the C.S. Lewis quote: “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” It absolutely is! ↩