Christians Should Work – and Rest – Like No One Else

Christians ought to work like no one else. We should be the most diligent; the most attentive; the most dependable. Organizations ought to love it when Christians work for them because they know that these are the people they can count on to work hard and work well.

That’s not because Christians are more intelligent or industrious or stronger or anything else – it’s because Christians work for a different reason than just to earn a paycheck. A.W. Tozer reminded us that “it is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular. It is why he does it.” The sacredness of the opportunity is not about the work itself, but about our perspective of why we work at all.

See, there is something more going on here than just going to the office. Work is part of God’s plan for humanity, not just as a means for providing for ourselves and our families, but for providing for the common good of His creation. Ordinary people like you and me are the sovereignly designed means by which God is caring for the people of the earth. He has ordained that we, as human beings, exist in a state of interdependence on each other. That doesn’t mean God has isolated Himself from the world; it simply means that God is providentially using the talents, opportunities, and regular old jobs of regular old people to provide and care for humanity. Knowing that, the Christian works like no one else:

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ (Col. 3:23-24).

But the Christian also rests like no one else.

The practice of taking a day of rest and dedicating it to the Lord was first practiced by God on the seventh day of creation, and then codified by His very hand when He etched out the Ten Commandments:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy (Ex. 20:8-11).

Simple enough, right? But it’s important for us to realize that for the Christian, the Sabbath isn’t just a day of rest, but a condition we enter into:

Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience (Heb. 4:9-11).

The kind of rest described here isn’t so much an isolated instance but a state of being that’s lived inside of. The day we take of rest, then, becomes a reminder of the state of rest we can enter into because of Jesus.

We live in a culture of achievement. Of self-validation. Of constant efforts to prove your own worthiness to anyone who happens to be looking. But when you rest – really rest – you aren’t producing anything. You aren’t validating anything. You are instead finding your source of validation, identity, and worth in something other than what you produce. Instead, we know that true rest only comes from trusting and living in the finished work of Christ on our behalf. In this, as with so many other things, we stand apart from our culture – we rest.

Christians work hard. And Christians rest hard.

What do these things have in common? The answer is faith. To work hard, we have to believe our work is unto the Lord. And to rest hard, we have to believe that God has and will continue to provide everything we need.

So whether you find yourself on a day of work or a day of rest, do so in faith. And do each one like no one else.

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