The Importance of the Sabbath as a Faithful, Working Professional
As a busy professional, it’s easy to get caught up in a culture of never-ending work. If you aren’t careful, it can become all-consuming. This can lead to burnout and stress. A study by Bain & Company found that 61% of Millennial and Gen-Z workers are stressed, overwhelmed, and in danger of burnout at work.
Man was created for work (Gen 2:15). For Christians, work can give our lives meaning, but work must never become the meaning of one’s life.
Today, our culture views work as an end in itself. It supplies our identity and gives a sense of direction to our lives. This idea of work as our purpose cripples our chances of finding fulfillment. Our work is never done, and the constant drive to prove ourselves destroys our ability to find rest. It can impact our relationship with those around us and ourselves. It can also lead to idolatry as we seek fulfillment in ourselves rather than in our Savior.
While it’s important to take your job seriously, it’s also important to rest.
The word 'Sabbath' comes from the Hebrew term, 'Shabbat', meaning to stop or rest. The Sabbath is a time to unplug from our work:
“Six days you will labor, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” - Ex 20:8-10)
Yet, the purpose of the Sabbath isn’t only to rest from work. The reason for the Sabbath is to dedicate a day of the week to focus on God. It is a sacred day to spend in worship and reverence. Not only will this strengthen your relationship with the Lord, but it will also prevent us from feeling stressed and exhausted, keeping our eyes on what is the most important.
History of the Sabbath
Since ancient times, people have held the tradition of a sacred seventh day. Before the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath commemorated God’s day of rest after He finished His Creation. At the end of the creation story, we read:
"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 creation that he had done." -Gen 2:2
After His Resurrection, Sunday was held sacred in remembrance of Christ’s Resurrection.
How to create a Sabbath
The Sabbath is a lasting covenant between God and His people:
"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his” - Hebrews 4:9-10
Choose a day and commit to it
First, choose one day in your week to be your Sabbath. Set aside the entire day to slow down, rest, and reset your eyes on the Lord. While many practice the Sabbath on Sundays, pick a day that works best with your schedule and commit to it. Sundays are a great option since, traditionally, church services are included in the Sabbath.
Second, be flexible. Your Sabbath day might vary from week to week or season to season, depending on your schedule. That’s okay. The important thing is to plan it out ahead of time.
Luke 23 describes a Day of Preparation preceding the Sabbath. This is an important part of having a fulfilling Sabbath day each week. Make a list of things you need to take care of before your Sabbath day so you can step away and rest. This may include responding to emails, doing laundry, grocery shopping, or paying bills.
Keep the Sabbath day Holy
Sabbath keeping has to be intentional. Don't use your Sabbath day as a "day off". Keep the Sabbath day holy by spending y