STEP 1 > Follow God’s example.
God created the world in six days, then He rested, setting an example that would last for the remainder of time. In addition, God clearly commanded us to rest in Exodus 20:8-11. That means that although rest sometimes seems like a luxury, not taking time to rest each week is actually disobedience to God. Does resting mean you can’t do certain things? Check out “Fast Facts” to find out!
STEP 2 > Rest your body.
We were created to need (and enjoy!) physical rest. If we didn’t sleep, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function. Resting our bodies is more than just falling asleep each night, though. Our bodies need downtime, whether that involves napping on Sunday afternoon, quietly reading, or just stretching out on the couch. Carve out time during your busy week to devote solely to resting your body.
STEP 3 > Rest your mind.
Your mind needs rest, too. If you have a hard time turning off your thoughts to give your brain a rest, try directing it elsewhere. Play a game. Swim some laps. Go for a walk. Write in a journal. Read an engaging book. Have a great conversation. Your brain will stop thinking, planning, and worrying when it gets caught up in other things. Give it that necessary time to rest.
STEP 4 > Rest your emotions.
If you’re going through an emotionally challenging time, the situation can wear you out. You need to take breaks from your intense feelings. Paint a wall (with your parents’ permission), clean your room, watch a funny movie, or laugh with friends. Give yourself permission to lay down your heavy emotional load, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.
STEP 5 > Rest your spirit.
We experience guilt from our sins, worry over the future, stress over decisions, and more. Our spirits need rest, too—and that rest can only be found in God. Drink in His Word. Accept His forgiveness. Trust in His wisdom. Worship His greatness. Matthew 11:28 promises that if we, who are weary, will come to Him, He will give us rest.
Does resting mean you can’t do stuff?
One day a week, we need to shut it all down and find physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual rest in God. Set aside your work, take time to worship Him, and rejuvenate yourself.
Should you avoid strenuous activities, like sports, on the Sabbath? It depends. Is your play honoring to God? Are you relaxing and enjoying the game, or are you practicing for improvement? Do you feel rejuvenated and relaxed afterward, or does it wear you out? If your sports activity leaves you feeling more tired than relaxed, then you might need to take a break once a week.
If you text all week long, you’ll probably feel refreshed if you set it aside for a few hours. Likewise, if you stare at screens all week long, your eyes could probably use a break. But, if your screen time all week long is spent writing papers, you might find it relaxing to look at friends’ pics or check out new apps while you’re resting.
WHEN TO REST
Along with resting on the Sabbath, try to take a few minutes each day to unplug, unwind, and rest in God. You need quiet, restful time alone with Him each day to prepare you for all of the other moments you’ll experience that day.