Rest and fun are not optional parts of a healthy life. Peace and joy are both fruits of the Spirit, the manifestations of the transformative power of God in your life. Making time for rest and having fun are some of the most practical and effective ways to protect peace and joy in your life. Peace and joy are essential ingredients to an indestructible life.
Rest is not something we do to relieve exhaustion. Rest is a standard. It is choosing to live the rhythms of our lives with peace as one of our prime measures of success. Peace and rest are not excuses to be lazy or idle; they are the pacesetters that ensure we are able to finish the race. You can accomplish a great deal by living at a restful pace. In fact, you can accomplish a great deal more than you can by living frantically. Living frantically can trick us into thinking we are accomplishing more when, for multiple reasons, we are accomplishing less.
Living with rest as a standard helps us recognize when we are letting a frantic pace sabotage our growth and productivity.
Fun is not the same thing as distraction, amusement or entertainment. Fun is found in activities that we do purely for the joy we get out of doing them, not for the results we expect to get out of them. The Bible speaks constantly about joy being a foundational part of God's kingdom. We cannot hope to sustain joy in our lives if we do not make room for fun. Fun looks different for all of us. Some of us find our joy in skiing, mountain climbing and camping. Some have fun with puzzles, board games and discussing their favorite show with a friend. Some are having the most fun when lying out on the beach with a good book in their hand, playing pickup basketball with friends or painting a landscape. Fun is deeply spiritual; it protects and nourishes joy.
I have seen so many Christians tricked into building a mindset where they view rest and fun as wasteful and wrong. This is a horrible trap. Living without rest and fun does to your soul what going without food and sleep does to your body: It compiles your exhaustion, creates confusion and lowers your immune system. Having consistent periods of rest and fun built into your life protects your peace and joy. It keeps your soul healthy and whole, and opens your heart and ears to the voice of God.
Jesus modeled this for us. There are several passages where Jesus took time to rest and pray, even when others were making demands on His time. God modeled this need from the very beginning of time. God, infinite and all-powerful, took a day of rest after creating the world and everything in it. He even made this day of rest part of the culture of His chosen people. He also built into that culture several yearly celebrations and holidays, many of which involve numerous days of revelry and fun.
God is the author of joy and peace. These are not just abstract feelings and virtues, but aspects of His nature that are meant to be manifested through His children. We cannot fully manifest the nature of God without building a life with room for rest and fun.
This is an adapted excerpt from Indestructible: Fight Your Spiritual Battles From the Winning Side by Blake K. Healy. Copyright ©2020 Published by Charisma House. Used by permission.
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