Here's a topic that we don't talk much about - rest. You'll find over 5 million hits on Google for "productivity," but only one-fifth that many for "rest."
Rest is useful in reducing stress and anxiety. Because when we rest, both physically and mentally, we remain away from the stressful situation. It allows body to calm down and gather some energy as well. So, rest is extremely important for mental calmness and physical energy. There's no argument that we should give our best to the work we do, but maximizing productivity has a lot to do with taking measured rest. It seems that even Jesus, himself, advised that...
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by Helen M. Mitchell
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest." 
(Matthew 11:28 - NIV)
As I watch exhausted people hurry from one commitment and activity to another, I wonder if we really understand what Jesus meant when he talked about rest and why we need it.
For some, to rest would be considered to be lazy. For others, rest is seen as weak and for another, rest may be seen as being unsuccessful. Our society has placed too much value on being 'busy' and some wear the label of 'workaholic' as a sign of success, honor and esteem.
When the Pharisees criticized Jesus and his disciples for picking heads of grain on the Sabbath, Jesus did not disagree with the Pharisees commitment to obedience to the law, but rather expanded on their understanding of why one should not work on the Sabbath.
"Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath'." (Mark 2:27)
If we do not slow down our physical bodies to rest and recharge, this will soon affect our health, our mental well being and our attitude. And if we are mentally tired we will not have time to be present with the Lord. Isn't it amazing how the world can look more promising and our attitude more positive after a restful vacation or even after a nap?
Spiritual rest and time with the Lord keeps us grounded in the Word and ready to do the will of God. If we are physically rested, then we are better able to be spiritually rested in the Lord and then we can stand strong and firm in our knowledge in Christ.
The Lord told Moses, "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest." (Exodus 34:21 - NIV) God is placing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rest above work - even when work is busy and prosperous.
Rest is not just a good idea, it is a command. Physical rest keeps our minds clear and improves the quality of our decisions and interactions at work and increases our productivity. Spiritual rest and time with the Lord reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Dear Lord, please forgive me for putting my work ahead of my physical and spiritual rest. Please help me to balance all of my responsibilities and to honor you with my words, actions and deeds both at home and at work. Thank you that we can find eternal rest in your Son. Amen.
  1. What is harder, spiritual or physical rest? What can you do this week to get more rest?
  2. If you were physically and spiritually rested, how would that help you at work? To be more Christ like?
  3. Are you or your company valuing the amount of time spent at work rather than the outcome of your work?
This WorkLife SwitchTOOL was written by Helen M. Mitchell. Helen is the founder of Strategic Management Resources (, a strategy and management consulting firm and is the director of the Saddleback Church WorkLife ministry.  Used by permission. All rights reserved. Content edited and distributed by for non-profit educational purposes.

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