This is a guest post by Jeremie Kubicek—co-founder of GiANT Worldwide—a global company dedicated to leadership transformation through intentional apprenticeship. Jeremie has a new book, which I believe can be helpful for all leaders—maybe especially in the church.
I was taught the importance of hard work from a very young age. Growing up in Oklahoma, I learned from the state’s large agricultural industry that individuals literally reap what they sow—those diligent to their craft that work hard and place high emphasis on quality would yield the best crop.
I also learned the importance of this in church. As Christians, we are to work diligently in all we do, not for our own glory but for God’s.
We see this work ethic in Jesus’ ministry, as he works faithfully at all times to share the Gospel. He even challenged us to work similarly. John 9:4 says, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.”
But what I didn’t learn early on was the importance of rest, taking a break, recharging and strolling with God. For so long, I heard verses like 1 Timothy 5:8, which advocates the importance of providing for one’s family, and thought my responsibilities as a Christian, husband, father and businessman stopped there.
I was wrong. Many 80-hour workweeks later, I began to realize I had personally accomplished a lot, but not what God wanted me to accomplish.
We know God rested for a day in Genesis after creating the world, and He encourages us to do the same. And Jesus later modeled the critical act of rest. The Gospel of Luke tells us Jesus “would withdraw to desolate places and pray” frequently after large events in his ministry.” In Matthew, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert away from the busyness of everyday work to spend time and grow with God. We see him refuel in the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and prepare for his next few days of “work.”
I was convicted; although we are called to work hard, we are also called to recharge hard.
Early on, I learned that resting and recharging do not always mean sleeping. Although sleep is a big part of the process, coherent recharge is, too. We are all wired differently, and for this reason, each of us must find the way to rest and recharge that best fits our unique makeup.
For introverts, this might include relaxing activities such as reading and meditation or more active things like exercise, gardening, cooking or woodworking.
While these may also enliven extroverts, more social activities such as discussing ideas with a mentor, spending time with family and friends, or attending concerts or movies may be just want they need to help them wind down.
At the end of the day, it isn’t the form of rest that is important but the intentional inclusion of it in your day. So take a cue from our God and Savior and find a moment to recharge today.
Check out “5 Gears” for additional help in balancing life, work and rest.