Guest Post: Mentoring Moments – Rest Fear

I read this on Facebook the other day and wanted to share it with you all. Richard served as my coach for ordination with the Berean Fellowship and my wife and I have been blessed by Richard and his wife in numerous ways. Thank you, Richard, for letting me share this with others.

Mentoring Moments: Rest Fear

by Richard Crocker, Mentoring Pastor, Cheyenne Berean Church

One of the unforeseen results of the Calvinistic branch of the Reformation was the so-called “Protestant Work Ethic.” This teaching was that the “elect” could only know they were the elect by living according to strict righteous standards that included hard work and frugality. Rest was rigorously enforced so that you could do and produce more. Rest for personal recuperation, joy, and relationship with God was minimized. The Puritans brought this principle to the New World and it still has impact on our church culture today. There seems to be a deep-seated fear of rest by many in the church.

Their feeling of “must do” trumps their knowledge that God “rested” on the seventh day after his work of creation. They forget that Israel was given a specific commandment to “rest” after six days of work as well as numerous periodic festivals and seasons of rest. They know that Jesus modeled rest as an individual and as a ministry group, but the fear of rest eclipses the truth of rest.

*Jesus … left in a boat to a remote area to be alone, Matthew 14:13.

*Jesus … went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, Matthew 14:23.

*Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat, Mark 6:31.

Why are you so driven? It is true that many today seem to be reversing the principle of work six days and rest one; they rest and play for six days and manage to work just one day. But do you fall off the other side of bridge? Are you teaching your children how to work and to rest? Are you training them to fear rest or embrace rest? And those you mentor do they see you engaging in rest or being fearful of rest?

And why does your heart demand that you work, that you do, that you exhaust yourself relentlessly. Have you discovered what brings genuine restorative rest to you? Are you attentive enough to help others enter the rest that is based on how God has designed? Some rest best alone. Some rest best with others. Jesus modeled that we should both rest alone and rest with others. Do you allow others to rest?

Fearful of rest? What steps will you take to intentionally rest? Will you help those around you to rest? Will you get alone as an individual? Will you set aside time to be alone with your spouse? Will you take time rest with your children? Will you call those you minister with to a time of rest?