Y’all, it’s a Monday kind of Monday. It’s overcast and chilly outside and this morning came much too quickly after a busy weekend. But more than that, this season has been a Monday kind of season. Staying busy with work, a social life, and various ministries takes mental effort and that effort wears. It reduces your ability to keep doing good things! There’s an economic phenomenon known as the Law of Diminishing Returns, where at some point, the energy and resources put into something no longer yields return. There’s a tipping point where everything beneficial has been given and further investment is a waste. This is true in our lives as well, and especially our ministry.
Jesus sets a wonderful example of taking rest during His time on Earth. In Matthew 14:22-23, we see where he sends his disciples on ahead; He doesn’t ask them to stay behind and help clean, stack chairs, sweep the floors, or collect left behind items. Jesus knows His disciples needed rest, and directed them to take it. We then see Jesus, Himself, take time alone.
We often feel obligated to show up early, stay behind, or put in extra effort to ministries we’re involved in. While it’s important that the body of Christ is self-sustaining and working together, the work for the many tends to fall to the few. If you are consistently and faithfully doing ministry, be encouraged to say “no” when you need rest. After all, rest is Biblical, as God shows us in the second chapter of Genesis, taking a day of rest after creating the universe.
Yes, God, Creator of All, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Beginning and the End, took a day of rest. What makes us think we can go non-stop? What insane, human idiocy do we fall into when we try to keep giving well past our point of good returns? If economists can figure this out, we can, too.
Okay, so I know I need rest…now what?
First, prayerfully consider which areas of your life to reduce your resources into. Is it time to step out of a ministry role? Or take on fewer projects at work? Or to actually pack your bags and get away? Consider what God says to you about your time, talents, and energy.
Second, let other people know that you’re stepping back. Whether that’s your boss, volunteer coordinator, or a friend. Respectfully, and with peace, let those who may be affected that you’ve reached a limit for now and need to recoup, regroup, and rest.
Once you’ve let others know you’re resting, REST! And do so without guilt that the world is going to crash around you. God has many hands and feet to call into his ministry. You’re important, which is exactly why you need to rest.
We rest so that we are able to give better. When we recharge, we are not pouring into others from an empty cup, but from a place of peace and plenty. Rest is Holy. Rest is needed. And rest is good for you when done correctly.
You are loved.