How Important is Rest? By Lane Jordan Burday

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:2-3).

When I was growing up in the South, Atlanta, we had blue laws, which meant no business could be open on Sunday. Families went to church together, rested, and enjoyed the day. The politicians and the businessmen of the time respected what God had commanded—to rest on the Sabbath.

For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death (Exodus 31:15).

However, in today’s world, not many people know what the Sabbath is or why we should take a day to rest, even though God says it is so important that the person who works on the Sabbath is put to death!

The Netherlands has a concept of “niksen,” or the Dutch art of doing nothing. I read an article by Olga Mecking, a writer, journalist, and translator based in the Netherlands. She is the author of Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing. She had just moved there and saw that the Dutch are consistently ranked among the world’s happiest people. When she applied it to her own life, she wrote that her perspective about happiness shifted significantly.

She mentions that the idea of niksen might seem selfish or boring at first glance, but it’s actually a service to you and your community.

Well of course! The world is beginning to follow what the Lord has commanded all along. To be productive and happy, we must take one day a week to rest. To really rest and give honor to the Lord on that day.

Jesus shared how important the sabbath is by saying, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

POP Talk had the opportunity to interview Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith on the subject of rest. She is a board-certified internal medicine physician and a work-life integration researcher with over twenty years of experience in clinical practice. She is the author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, and Come Empty: Pour Out Life’s Hurts, and Receive God’s Healing Love. She has been featured on The 700 Club, Daystar, CNN Health, and POP Talk.

Her personal story is that she never stopped to rest, and she suffered burnout. She understands workaholics and the many long-term effects of focusing only on work. She also has seen how the church is exhausted by not having a day of rest.

How can this apply to you and me? My pastor, Dr. Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Texas, wrote a book on this subject of rest. Take the Day Off shows us how God wants to give us the gift of rest and how impactfully it affects our lives.

God wants His children to have an abundant life, and He gives us the Book of Instructions. It’s all in His Holy Bible. We need to remember to read and embrace these instructions. I pray you make a promise to yourself to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, just as God and Jesus instructed us to do. I promise your life will be forever changed.


Lane Jordan-Burday is the Pearls of Promise Ministries Prayer Co-Coordinator; POP Talk TV and Radio Co-Host and Writer. She is also is an award-winning and best-selling author of over ten adult and children’s books. She is a speaker with Stonecroft Ministries, seminar leader, professional life coach, Bible teacher, and artist. She served as the Associate Producer for the program In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. She prays for women to come to know the Lord is God!

Lane’s latest book, Evangeline, is a historical fiction based on the book of Esther. You can reach Lane at: Her website is:

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