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Life Balance – Week 3

Time to Rest

  • How well rested are you? Many people seem to suffer from tiredness – not just a bad night or two, but a real deep down weariness. Have you ever felt like that?
  • Imagine you held a stone in your hand(or find a real one). Let this represent the burdens  you carry. What are those burdens  Imagine telling God about them. What does he say to you?
The most obvious importance of having a regular Sabbath break is so that we can rest. But true rest is not just about stopping work. Often the things that wear us out are far deeper than simple busyness. We are tired because we are trying to earn approval from others or from God and because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t come up to scratch.

Deuteronomy 5.12-15
The Israelites are instructed to keep the Sabbath, and to let the rest of their families, their animals and the foreigners who work in their midst keep it too. They are reminded that they were once slaves – having no rest and no freedom, but that God rescued them.
  • Imagine what it is like to be a slave.  You have no rights, no contract, no choice, and you probably live in fear. You depend for your life on keeping the goodwill of your owner. You have to work, or you will be punished.
  • Christian faith is based on the idea of Grace; God’s unmerited love. We do not have to earn his approval or his love because it is ours already. Just as a loving parent cannot stop loving their children, God will not stop loving us. Is this your understanding of God, or do you feel you have to do or be certain things to make him happy? Are you a slave or a free person?
  • If you overwork, ask yourself why? What are the “slave-drivers” in your life?
I Kings 19.4-8
Elijah has just had a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He (and his God) have triumphed, but Queen Jezebel has threatened his life. Exhausted and deflated he runs into the desert.
  • How does this passage show God caring for him?
  • How do you treat yourself when you are tired?

To do:

Think of one way in which you could change your life to make it more restful.
Think of one way in which you could make someone else’s life more restful.

Adapted from “Life Balance” Copyright © Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield 2005 Church House Publishing.