Don’t Ditch Rest For “Success”

Don’t Ditch Rest For “Success”

This is a blog for those of us who lack balance and fill our schedules to the brim. It’s easy to live a hectic lifestyle while we work toward a career (or other life goals). We feel validated through our success, but often do not reveal the stress, pain, and lack of self-care it took to get there. Why do we ditch rest?

The Lie

Many of us buy into the lie that we gain value with more success. The goals we achieve in life show perseverance, focus, and other positive attributes. However, overworking ourselves can become detrimental. If our minds, bodies, or souls begin to deteriorate in the process, then we are not our best selves in our “success.”

God tells us we don’t earn our value. He already showed us how much value we have when Jesus died on the cross (Ephesians 2:4-9).

God Commands Us To Rest

God wants us to have balance in our lives. He wants us to work hard, because we were created to work hard (Colossians 3:23). At the same time, God commands us to rest. Our best selves may not have the largest list of accomplishments. Our best selves come when we give ourselves time for self care and relationships, especially our relationship with God.

Did you know that the Bible says when we do not rest we are being disobedient to God?

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
-Hebrews 4:11

Our all-powerful God rested after creating everything in existence (Genesis 2:2). In addition, after each day He stepped back to look and reflect on what He had done (Genesis 1). God doesn’t need rest, but He still rested as an example to us. Why would we deny ourselves something that God hasn’t even denied Himself? God could have gone without rest and we technically can do it too, but we are hurting ourselves in the process.

Learning To Say No

Rest means different things to different people, but we make a mistake once our schedule becomes so full that we cannot rest. I have the tendency to want to do everything at once, but we need to be wise with our priorities. What we say no to is just as important as what we say yes to. Sometimes the answer is not yes or no, but instead “not right now.” The commitments we chose and leave behind reveal our values in life.

Finding Rest in God

God wants us to find rest in Him. God wants us to value Him. He is our healer, our comforter, and our source of power. When we give no time to God, we are saying we do not value Him. When we don’t give time to God we are idolizing other things and hurting ourselves in the process. Why are we getting hurt? Because we are looking for purpose and fulfillment in things that cannot give us full purpose or fulfillment. Only God can completely fulfill us and selfish-ambition is such a deceiving idol (Psalm 135:15-18, James 3:16).

I have learned that I cannot find rest without going to the One who gives me rest (Psalm 62:1-2). I cannot heal unless I go to my Healer (Mathew 11:28). God calls us to a better way of life than the hectic scramble to look perfect. While there may be hectic moments in our life, spending time with God gives us the opportunity to recharge (even if it’s just a little bit). When we take off the chains of believing we must constantly attain “success,” then we can realize going on a walk, reading the Bible, and building relationships can give us more fulfillment than a prestigious achievement.

So remember, rest is good and God even demands us to do it. Our best selves are our most balanced selves. We have our whole life to do amazing things. Let’s try to foster that ambition with endurance dedicated to God instead of burning out through an ambition that brings self-destruction.