“You can come to church, sit, leave, and NEVER be impacted by another life. That’s tragic, you know?” —Charles R. Swindoll
When was the last time you took a long walk, read a good book, or watched a sunset? Many of us feel guilty when we spend more than 10 minutes being “unproductive.” We’ve been sold a bill of goods that the committed Christian is the busy Christian—constantly involved with people, programs, and producing results.
A scarcity of leisure in our lives reflects a lack of balance, with the scales tipped heavily toward work. Scripture, though, calls us to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1). This requires that, among other things, we use our time wisely. After He created the heavens and the earth, God took time for leisure (Genesis 2:1-3). God didn’t rest because he needed it but to set an example for His creatures. Even Jesus, though He had many things to accomplish during His short time on earth, took time to rest, spend time with God, and sleep (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12). During our times of rest, God wants us to spend time with Him, building intimacy and trust in His provision.
The first three chapters of Genesis show us that leisure should have room for creativity, communication, rest, and relationships.
- Creativity: In the beginning, God created everything—from the skies, to the seas, to the human body. If we’re to mimic God, we must also take time to create
- Communication: God exists as three divine Persons: the Father, Son, and Spirit. And when He created Adam and Eve, God desired relationships with them. Since we’ve been created in His image, we must prioritize communication with God and others
- Rest: On the seventh day, God deliberately stopped working to enjoy His creation and to set an example for us. Rest doesn’t mean becoming part of the couch and watching TV for hours but reflecting on God’s goodness and thanking Him for His provision
- Relationships: Leisure gives us time to build relationships. God spent time with Adam and Eve, paid attention to their hearts, and anticipated their needs. We must spend time with the people we love in order to understand their hopes, joys, dreams, and needs
Leisure helps develop in us the capacity to perceive the eternal. It provides the time to get refocused on God and to recall what matters most in life.
“Strengthening Your Grip on Leisure” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Strengthening Your Grip: Essentials in an Aimless World. You can stream this message online anytime at insightforliving.ca/audiolibrary.