Spiritual Practice

Embrace Rest

Rachel Starr Thomson

The message of Proverbs 21:25a rings through loud and clear—being lazy is bad. But I don’t think we define lazy very well. We think it means the same thing as relaxing or resting, but they aren’t the same at all. Laziness is a characteristic; it’s something you are. Relaxing and resting are the opposite: they’re actions—inactive actions, but actions nonetheless. And often, they’re very smart actions.


“The craving of the lazy person is fatal.”
Proverbs 21:25a (NRSV)

The Bible tells us that God rested at the end of the week of creation and that Jesus regularly went away by himself to pray and to rest from his work. As finite human beings, we also need rest. When I give myself permission to stop being constantly busy—to stop and rest now and again—the results are amazing. I am much more productive and energized when I get back to work. My relationships and my health benefit, and I have a better perspective on life. There’s nothing like time away from my regular routine to help me see it for what it is—whether good or bad. Plus, regular rest—every Sunday, every evening—protects me from the temptation to become lazy.


Rest may be lazy’s greatest enemy. Embrace it, use it, and glorify God with it—that’s the purpose of rest.


REFLECT & PRAY: How would you describe yourself when you’re stressed out? How would you describe yourself when you’re well rested? Ask God to help you develop the discipline of rest.

—from devozine (July/August 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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