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The Sabbath Brings Health

The Sabbath Brings Health
Are you working too hard? Do you pour yourself into your occupation to the neglect of your health and relationships? In a Christian Today article titled, “Love Working? Here’s Why Taking Time to Rest Is Important – and Should be Non-Negotiable,” JB Cachila writes that the fourth commandment to rest should be taken seriously by everyone. “God Himself rested from the work of creation … and commands us to rest as well. He knows we need it.”

Americans do need more rest. A recent study by the Families and Work Institute reveals that “more than half of U.S. employees feel overworked or overwhelmed at least some of the time.” According to the study, “About one-quarter of respondents said they worked 50 or more hours a week, while 22 percent said they worked six to seven days a week.” A quarter of respondents reported that they don’t use all their vacation time. “This study,” says Ellen Galinsky, publisher of the research, “suggests that many American employees are near the breaking point.”

Overwork does not bring more peace and security into our lives but creates more stress and less time to relax and enjoy our work, our fellow employees, our families, and the fruits of our labor. The Families and Work Institute study explains, “Respondents who felt overworked also said they are more likely to look elsewhere for a new position, feel anger toward their employers and resent co-workers who don’t work as hard as they do.”

People often consider the Sabbath commandment as a mere religious duty to please God and avoid punishment. But the Lord gave the Sabbath to humanity to be a blessing. Sabbath was never meant to be a killjoy or a way to eliminate happiness from our lives.

Jesus taught, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). In the time of Christ, the legal requirements for Sabbath keeping had become so focused on the mechanics of obeying the law that the purpose of the sacred day was obliterated. Jesus recaptured the joyful reason for this gift day—to restore people spiritually and physically.

Taking time to rest is important, not only because God commanded us to stop our regular labors on the seventh day, but because it is essential to the health of our minds and bodies.

Learn more about how to enjoy the Sabbath and improve your health in this vivid, one-of-a-kind magazine—The Rest of Your Life!
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