7 Reasons Why a Day of Rest is Important
We live in a fast-paced world.
It seems as if success is measured in how much you can do in a short amount of time. (Extra points for the service or product that is available 24/7). The idea that we will be more successful if we can keep going without stopping pushes us to look for things that will keep us going for as long as possible.
But here’s a thought: suppose a day of rest could actually boost your career? What if rest was the one thing that could keep you going, not just longer, but more effectively?
A day of rest can boost your career
Some time ago, I read an article that caught me by surprise. The author explored the impact a rest day has on an individual’s productivity on the job. When we work without taking a moment to rest, it won’t be long until you begin to feel weary—as if you’re going in circles. No doubt, rest is important. In Hebrew, Sabbath means “to rest from labor” or “to cease or stop.” In the Bible, after God created a beautiful new planet, it says that He “rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2, NKJV).
The patriarchs, the prophets, Jesus, the Apostles, and Christians observed the Sabbath throughout history. But it wasn’t only for religious reasons. Today, it is impossible to function properly and excel without adequate rest.
Americans continue to suffer from illnesses that are aggravated by anxiety, depression, and stress. Researchers continue to publish reports on the negative effects of lack of rest. Undoubtedly, a day of rest is important.
Here are 7 Reasons why you should observe a day of rest:
1. Improved relationships
A day of rest gives individuals the opportunity to build and improve relationships. Time is needed in order to enhance relationships among family members, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. Adventists believe that quality relationships are vital to life, therefore anything that will cultivate positive relations is valued. Taking a day of rest allows time for family gatherings, fellowship among church members, chats with neighbors, and moments to spend getting to know new people. Time is a key factor to having better relationships. Without it, family and friend circles disintegrate.
2. Better physical health
Adventists believe that taking care of our bodies is paramount if someone wants to live a quality life. Our bodies are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) and caring for our bodies is one way to worship. A day of rest gives us time to recover from physical stress. Our bodies also need time to heal from injury, disease or rigorous exercise—all of which can be accomplished by adding a rest day to our regimen for healing.
3. Mental rejuvenation
Quality mental health is at risk today more than ever. Work, family, and personal issues take a toll on mental energy. 1 in 5 adults has a mental health condition. These kinds of data affect the home, workplace, and society as a whole. Workspaces function efficiently when employees are rested and mentally refreshed after a day of rest. Homes can be safe havens if mental health issues were properly treated. Sabbath is one way to attack mental exhaustion, anxiety, and stress. A day of rest revitalizes persons who cease from their regular activities. It gives you a moment to think about your past week, develop coping skills, help others, and focus on spiritual things. While there are a number of ways to combat mental conditions (e.g. talking to a professional, medication, etc.), don’t discredit the value of a rest day or Sabbath.
4. Following God’s command
God, knowing what is best for His created beings, commands us to rest. One of the ways we observe His prescribed holy day is by ceasing from work and regular weekly activities. Sabbath was designed to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. A rest day is an expression of love to God as He says: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV). A major part of our faith relationship is obedience to God. That obedience should stem from love because He loves us and died for our salvation. When God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2), He was making Himself available to His created beings so they could spend time with Him and see His glory. The day of rest was God’s way of providing a space in time for us to seek His face unhindered. By having a day of rest, we demonstrate our love for God, thus keeping His commandment.
Did you know?
The word used for the seventh day of the week means “Sabbath” in majority of the principle languages of the world?
5. Increase in productivity
God commands us to work (Exodus 20:8) and He wants us to prosper in what we do. Sabbath is a gift that increases productivity in our work. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, construction worker, surgeon, or a teacher, a day of rest will boost your performance and creativity in the workplace and home. One article in the New York Times reported that basketball players performed better and air traffic controllers were more alert when they were well-rested. Time off allows the mind and body to replenish the energy being used during the week. Pushing to produce without a day of rest increases stress levels, brings on negative moods, decreases creativity, and therefore puts the ability to perform well at risk. Instead of an energy drink, you may want to consider the weekly Sabbath.
6. Lowered risk for illnesses
By getting sufficient rest and sleep, our bodies have the strength to fight off illnesses, especially the common cold and flu. Working without a break can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, heart problems, and high blood sugar levels. On average, Seventh-day Adventists live ten years longer than the general population. A healthy diet, exercise, and a day of rest are some factors that lengthen life expectancy.
7. Increased sexual intimacy
The marriage relationship is one of the most sacred, and sexual intimacy is a critical aspect of that union. Unfortunately, many couples suffer in this area because of fatigue, stress, mental weariness, and illness—most of which can be combatted with rest. Lack of sleep and not getting sufficient time to relax lowers sex drives, which can put a strain on marital relations. Sabbath observance or rest day gives married couples a moment to de-stress and relieve tension from a busy work schedule. Worship and other Sabbath activities can build the bond between a husband and wife and increase sexual intimacy. While it may not be common to associate the fourth commandment with sexual intimacy, a holy day of rest is just one way to have a better marriage.
Choosing the day of rest
Many in the Western world regard Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day of rest. Jews, Seventh-day Adventists and a number of other religious groups observe Saturday, the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of rest. Since God loves specificity in how we observe His commands, we believe that it is of utmost importance to observe the day of rest during the time that He (in His infinite wisdom and love) prescribed.
Did you know?
Many Adventist organizations close half day on Fridays to give employees sufficient time to get ready for the day of rest.
It’s our hope that as you discover the day of rest that God has set aside for you, you will experience all of the benefits that come along with the day. Seventh-day Adventists value health, productivity, and quality relationships between man and God. For this reason, Adventists aim to observe the seventh day Sabbath as God commands in His Word.
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