5 Myths about Leisure

This text is a part of the 5 Myths sequence.

Defining Phrases

What does the phrase leisure conjure up in your thoughts? These are a number of the phrases that used to come back to my thoughts: Unspiritual, worldly, lazy, idolatry, selfishness, nonproductive.

I stated “used to” as a result of I not view leisure by these lenses. By God’s grace, I’ve come to appreciate that my understanding of leisure was mistaken. These phrases could describe sinful kinds or excesses of leisure, for positive, however they don’t seem to be correct and true descriptions of leisure.

Listed below are some dictionary definitions of leisure:

“Freedom provided by the cessation of activities, especially time free from work or duties.”1

“Time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc. . . ”2

And a few synonyms: decompression, ease, leisure, vacation, respite, relaxation, respiration area, peace, quiet.

These are extra correct descriptions of leisure, the very important type of leisure that God supposed for you and me: “time,” “freedom from demands,” “rest,” and “enjoyment. Perhaps we can sum it up as “holistic,” leisure which advantages our our bodies, minds, feelings, and souls.

As Christians, we maybe wrestle with the idea of leisure, as a result of we’ve seen its excesses. We could even imagine it has no place within the Christian life. I hope to indicate you that it’s actually vitally vital if we’re to reside a wholesome, balanced, grace-paced Christian life.

What are a number of the widespread myths we could imagine about leisure?

Fantasy #1: Caring for my physique shouldn’t be a non secular matter.

Though the secular world has typically emphasised the physique to the exclusion of the soul, the church has typically veered to the alternative excessive of emphasizing the soul to the exclusion of the physique. In some circles, any try to look after the physique is seen as unspiritual.

The Bible, nevertheless, finds the balanced path between these two extremes and guides us to look after each the physique and the soul. The apostle Paul presents his theology of the physique in 1 Corinthians 6:9–20.

He begins by admitting that the human physique has been broken by sin (1 Cor. 6:9–10). Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply we simply neglect the physique. No, Paul says Christ’s redemption isn’t just for the soul but additionally for the physique. It’s a full-body and a full-soul salvation. “The body is . . . for the Lord,” insists Paul, “and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 6:13). He made it, saved it, and maintains an everlasting curiosity in it.

Greater than that, your physique is a member of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15–17). It’s not simply our souls which are members of Christ; so are our our bodies. That ought to have an enormous impact on how we look after them. And much more than that, your physique is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). It’s the Holy Spirit’s home. He’s taken up occupancy there. Take into consideration how a lot you take care of your individual home. How way more must you take care of the Holy Spirit’s home?

And, if potential, there’s a fair larger motivation. Your physique was purchased with the value of Christ’s blood (1 Cor. 6:20). He purchased it with the best ransom ever paid. Strive to think about the most costly factor you ever purchased. Was it a automobile or a home? How a lot did you shield it and preserve it? Now consider how a lot Christ paid on your physique and contemplate how you might be managing this blood-bought property.

“You are not your own,” says Paul. “You were bought with a price”(1 Cor. 6:19–20). We now have a brand new proprietor who has paid an enormous value for his property. He claims our our bodies as his personal and calls us to handle them for his glory. That’s why his concluding attraction is “glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). Paul’s logic is straightforward. He purchased you, physique and soul. Subsequently, serve him with physique and soul. We should give an account to God for the way we’ve used, abused, underused, or overused his property. That ought to make a distinction not solely to our view of our our bodies however the way in which we handle them.

Fantasy #2: DAILY leisure shouldn’t be a necessity.

Each Christian needs to know God extra; few Christians struggle for the silence required to know him. As an alternative, we spend our days smashing stillness-shattering, knowledge-destroying cymbals on our ears and in our souls. These are the cymbals of guilt, greed, anger, controversy, resentment, vainness, nervousness, fear, self-pity. The repetitive and unstoppable jangle of expectation comes from all instructions—household, pals, employer, church, and particularly from ourselves.

And smashing into our lives wherever we flip, we collide with the large cymbals of the media and know-how: native and worldwide, paper and pixels, sound and picture, audio and video, beep and tweet, notifications and reminders, and on and on it goes. Is it any surprise that we typically really feel as if we’re going mad? Clanking and clanging, jingling and jangling, smashing and crashing, grating and grinding. A big, jarring orchestra of peace-disturbing, soul-dismantling cymbals.

Then: “Be still and know that I am God.” Leisure time is how we obey that decision.

That may merely be psychological stillness, however typically it entails each psychological and bodily stillness. I attempt to construct some nonetheless moments of leisure into totally different elements of my day—occasions of silencing the cymbals. Ideally, the primary one is my devotional time–even earlier than the clamor of electronic mail, home tasks, social media, and the information has even begun. That is when my thoughts is most quiet and I can discover my bearings. With out it, the remainder of my day tends to be much less productive, typically frazzled and chaotic, like taking an unfamiliar journey with out first checking my GPS. That is after I intentionally join with God by his phrase and ask him to information and bless my day. It’s my non secular GPS, the place I get perspective on my everlasting place, on life, and on my each day priorities.

Different each day leisure occasions range, however merely put, they’re quick breaks within the workflow. I’ll use this to train, learn, or take heed to Moody Radio. A quiet espresso could be very useful, too. Alternatively, I’ll to go exterior and easily hear, watch, and surprise at God’s creation. Or I’ll meet up with a pal. Whichever it’s, it entails intentionally placing my multitasking, work-focused thoughts into “Park.”

With out these each day psychological and bodily leisure occasions I wrestle to have revitalizing soul-connection with God. After all, on some days, we barely get time to breathe, however each day leisure needs to be our goal.

There are seasons of life when this is tougher, similar to after we are residence with little youngsters. Even then, and much more so then, we’d like these leisure breaks. Ask God that can assist you work out when you possibly can carve out these moments within the day, and even that hour within the day, when your youngsters are napping. Go away the duty checklist and loosen up for a couple of minutes with one thing completely totally different. Too typically up to now I mistakenly maxed out on home tasks throughout my youngsters’ nap occasions and uncared for the bodily, psychological leisure that might have saved my thoughts from spiraling into burnout and despair.

Sure, each day leisure is a necessity!

Each Christian needs to know God extra; few Christians struggle for the silence required to know him.

Fantasy #3: WEEKLY leisure shouldn’t be a necessity.

One of the crucial widespread deficits within the lives of individuals I’ve recommended with despair is the absence of a daily weekly sabbath. By sabbath, I imply a joyful day of relaxation and refreshment centered on the worship of God, the fellowship of his individuals within the native church, and the renewing of household relationships. I firmly imagine that one of many best causes of stress, nervousness, burnout, and despair in our trendy tradition is a failure to obtain the sabbath sample (six days of labor, someday of relaxation) because the present of a smart and compassionate God.

As Jesus himself stated, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27)—and that features girls! Observing sabbath relaxation is very vital within the New Testomony period for the reason that Sabbath ethical precept has been shorn of the short-term trappings of Israel’s ceremonial and civil legislation.

Even secular sources are more and more recognizing the necessity for a weekly sabbath even when God has nothing to do with it by selling the social, psychological, and productiveness advantages of a weekly day of relaxation. How way more helpful is a weekly sabbath if we put its Maker on the middle of it. It’s a present, not a risk. It’s a time for therapeutic the physique, the thoughts, the soul, and {our relationships} with God and others. It’s God’s method of offering us with a non secular and everlasting perspective on our lives. It’s God’s present of margin in our lives, and subsequently we have to really feel no guilt in embracing that someday in seven in its entirety. Similar to our muscle tissues want a relaxation after understanding, so our lives grow to be extra productive if we take God’s supplied relaxation.

It’s the day we are able to focus completely on God, his public worship, his individuals, and at residence with household. It’s the day we are able to neglect the whirlwind of labor, cash, taxiing youngsters, and grocery procuring and never really feel the gut-wrenching “to-do-list” pressure. It’s a day after we get to eat collectively as a household and nobody is speeding wherever. It’s the day we get to speak concerning the sermon, overview the earlier week and thank God for His work in our lives. It’s a day when our minds, our bodies, souls, and feelings are recalibrated and refreshed for the working week. It’s the day that God has made for particularly for me and for you. Let’s honor him by utilizing it as he supposed.

Sure, weekly leisure is a necessity!

Fantasy #4: ANNUAL trip leisure shouldn’t be a necessity.

Do the phrases trip and leisure in the identical sentence sound bizarre? For many people, it looks as if a contradiction. We really feel responsible leaving our work undone for a number of days. It appears simpler to not go on trip due to all of the preparation and all of the catchup on our return. These of us with households maybe look again on earlier holidays when the children acquired sick or had accidents.

However regardless of these difficulties, I wouldn’t miss our annual trip, as a result of it’s one other key aspect of bodily, psychological, emotional, and non secular refreshment.

That is true not just for me however for my entire household. Holidays make reminiscences, reminiscences that you simply can not make at residence. Holidays bind pals and households collectively in a singular method. Holidays take you to church buildings you by no means knew existed and Christians you by no means met earlier than. Holidays make you pray for these different Christians. Holidays present you extra of God’s world and the ability of the gospel in different individuals’s lives. Holidays enrich your non secular life. Holidays make you giggle collectively. Holidays make you reminisce collectively. Holidays present you God’s safety on unusual roads in unusual locations. I heard of 1 Christian couple who determined to have a staycation one 12 months, staying at residence and doing completely nothing for an entire week. They discovered it to be an totally depressing expertise. So get away!

Fantasy 5: I don’t have time for leisure.

With out leisure, we get chronically drained, we get sick, and we are going to seemingly die sooner. Many research again this up. Inflammatory issues, cancers, coronary heart illness contribute to this threat. Additionally, with out refreshing leisure, we undergo spiritually. Frazzled physique, frazzled thoughts, frazzled feelings, and a frazzled soul.

If we actually imagine that our our bodies belong to Christ and that he lives in us, we are going to make time to nurture our our bodies, for our bodily, psychological, emotional, and, above all, our non secular well-being. To disclaim ourselves time for leisure is to disclaim our frail humanity with its uniquely human wants.

If we by no means prioritize relaxation, leisure, and stopping from the frantic each day pursuits of promotion, making a living, GPA, pals, fame, reputation, or pleasing others we are going to by no means cease lengthy sufficient to know God each day as our Creator, Savior, Good friend, and Lord. As an alternative, we are going to reside as if we’re our personal savior, others’ savior, and our personal lord. No believer needs to be that, certainly?

Mockingly, even excessively lengthy hours in church work, seminary work, household work, and mission work can lead to this estrangement from God. As we pursue our “calling,” we are able to neglect the pursuit of God himself by neglecting silence and stillness. Then the physique we thought was of no non secular relevance could grow to be immensely so if we catastrophically fall into sin with our our bodies.

To embrace God’s present of leisure entails religion, religion that God doesn’t want me to be on name for everybody and all the things 24/7. It means trusting God that common occasions of quiet are extra vital than frantic hours of never-ending productiveness. Trusting God that it isn’t my works that save me, however him. Trusting God that he’ll multiply my labor and supply for all my wants, my household’s, and his church’s. Embracing Gods’ present of leisure is to say, “My business and productivity don’t secure my day or my future. God does. I will follow my maker’s instructions, I will care for my body, his temple and enjoy my maker’s blessing.”

Sure, I NEED to find time for leisure.


Not do I view God’s present of leisure by the false lenses of unspiritual, worldly, lazy, idolatry, selfishness, nonproductive. As an alternative, I view God’s present of leisure by the true lenses of time, freedom from calls for, relaxation, and enjoyment.

So, put down your instruments, put down down the mop, shut off your laptop computer. Cease what you might be doing. Take some non secular minutes, each day minutes, weekly minutes, annual minutes, and vital minutes to refresh your physique, refresh your thoughts, refresh your feelings, and refresh your soul.

Be nonetheless and know that I’m God. —Psalm 46:10

And he stated to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For a lot of had been coming and going, and so they had no leisure even to eat.—Mark 6:31

1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leisure
2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/leisure

This text comprises tailored extracts from Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Countless Calls for by Shona Murray.

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