Christian Workaholics | Lessons From The Sabbath Principle

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What you do is not who you are. 

Unfortunately, too many of us have bought into the lies of efficiency and productivity.  We’ve come to accept that being busy is always the most virtuous path.  We run around at work, at home, in the community, and even in church, but sometimes we feel like we never really accomplish anything. 

At times, we need to stand back, sit down, and evaluate.

Today I want to encourage you to stop.  To breathe.  To know that you are not the glue holding the world together.  Your existence on this earth is not the sum of your accomplishments. 

I want to remind you of the Sabbath principle.

When I speak of the Sabbath principle, I am not talking about a law that is binding on Christians.  Rather, I am reflecting on the intentions behind the Sabbath.  As such, we find that the principle of the Sabbath is an important principle for all of us today.

Import Quotes For Christian Workaholics

“We can talk on the phone as we eat fast food while using the ATM.  But only are we better at multitasking and becoming more productive and efficient, along with the increased pace, more is required of us.  And so we hurtle through life faster and faster, becoming busier and busier.  The result is that in our busyness we are becoming increasingly efficient at leading meaningful lives”.  Don Whitney

“Sabbath is the biblical tool for protecting time against desecration.  It is the rhythmic setting apart of one day each week for praying and playing – the two activities for which we don’t get paid, but which are necessary for a blessed life.”  Eugene Peterson

“Learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man.  Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.” Abraham Hesehel

“Your inner life is like a banana tree filled with monkeys jumping up and down”. Henri Nouwen

“In short, we are worthwhile because we have successes.  And the more we allow our accomplishments – the results of our actions – to become the criteria of our self-esteem, the more we are going to talk on our mental and spiritual toes, never sure if we will be able to live up to the expectations which we created by our last successes.  In many people’s lives, there is a nearly diabolical chain in which their anxieties grow according to their successes.  The ark power has driven many of the greatest artists into self-destruction.” Henri Nouwen

“It is in solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts.” Henri Nouwen

“We need to build firewalls around our work, or it simply will take over all dimensions of living.” Gordon MacDonald

“In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.”  In the middle of sentences loaded with action – healing suffering people, casting out devils, responding to impatient disciples, traveling from town to town and preaching from synagogue to synagogue – we find these quiet words: “In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.”  In the enter of breathless activities we hear a restful breathing.  Surrounded by hours of moving we find a moment of quiet stillness.  In the heart of much involvement there are words of withdrawal.  In the midst of action there is contemplation.  And after much togetherness there is solitude.  The more I read this nearly silent sentence locked in between the loud words of action, the more I have a sense that the secret of Jesus’ ministry is hidden in that lonely place where he went to pray, early in the morning, long before dawn.”  Henri Nouwen

“Sabbath is the means by which true worship is possible, whereby we are commanded to take the time that is required for the reflection, remembrance, and rest that is the prerequisite for faithful, responsive action in praise of God.” William H. Willimon

“In deference to God, to heart and meaning of his work, there must be from time to time an interruption, a rest, a deliberate non-continuation, a temporal pause, to reflect on God and His work and to participate consciously in the salvation provided by Him and to be awaited from Him.” Karl Barth

“We have been created, not for ceaseless activity, but for rest, for confident Sabbath.  Since our God was so serenely confident in his work of Creation that God was able to take a day off, so should we.” William Willimon

When’s the last time your took a vacation?  When’s the last time being with your family was a higher priority than accomplishing something? 

May God give us the rest we so desperately need.


  1. says

    Thank you for this reminder! I heard an analogy for BUSY before being Bounded Under Satan’s Yoke. Sometimes we get so busy and wrapped up that nothing is done effectively. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and sometimes still find myself with more on my plate than I should have.

    Too often we wear our busyness like a badge of honor, when in reality something is lacking.

    Even Jesus stole away from His disciples and rested! It’s all about balance.

  2. says

    Technology and competetion is forcing us all into busyness, but we might also assume it’s getting a helping hand from our own sense of self importance. We mistakenly believe that we have to do this and that, and that if we don’t, it won’t be done right, or won’t be done at all. Sometimes we need to just let go and let things happen, but our messiah complexes get in the way.

    It’s like a splash of cold water, those moments when we can imagine the vast power of God. At that moment, we realize–however briefly–our own insignificance. Somehow that puts it all into perspective.

    Now if we could bottle that for those times when that idea isn’t as much as a speck of dust on your personal radar screens…
    .-= Kevin@OutOfY0urRut´s last blog ..Making Money-Goes-to-Money Work For You =-.

  3. says

    I’m constantly telling my husband to chill out, lol. We have enforced that every Sunday is his Sabbath where he does nothing school or work related. It’s been going well! And we have mini vacations set up each month also. He’s been working for 6 years and hasn’t had a vacation. I on the other had and working through telling myself that I’m valuable without a job/paycheck coming in.
    .-= lencib´s last blog ..Monday! =-.

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