Work. Rest. Repeat.

Work. Rest. Repeat.

Jason Demland

April 5, 2024

You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of “work/life balance”.

Helping folks steward their money wisely has forced me to think about it often.

It seems like a noble statement. “I want to have a great work/life balance.” Awesome. Don’t we all?

But what is work? And what is life? And why are they different categories?

When I think about it like that, work/life balance seems nonsensical. Work is a part of life. A big part. It’s half of life at least. The other half is rest.

From a Biblical perspective, work predates the fall. Work is a struggle because of sin, but work itself isn’t a “necessary evil”. It’s necessary and even good. The created order of things is: work then rest then work then rest. We spend a third of our lives asleep! That’s a feature of life, not a bug.

So it seems that there is no balance between work and life. There is work and there is rest. Work is what life is all about. We rest so we can work. That makes work really important.

Building things, developing skills, plying trades, crafting, innovating, serving, growing, learning, fixing, and improving are integral to having meaning in life. We were created to work and reflect our Creator.

The beauty of the Christian ethic is that it shows us that there is value in all people and in all kinds of work. The redemption we have obtained through the work of Jesus Christ enables us to experience true joy and contentment as we pursue whatever we have been called to.

We don’t work to be redeemed. We don’t work to make a name for ourselves. We don’t work for our own glory or righteousness, that’s all in Christ. We work hard because we are overflowing with gratitude. We work hard because it is good and we love what is good.

We can make pizzas to the glory of God. We can deliver babies to the glory of God. We can develop nutrition programs for dairy farms to the glory of God. We can butcher beef to the glory of God. We can work on home improvements to the glory of God. We can raise our kids and maintain our homes to the glory of God. We can build investment portfolios and financial plans to the glory of God. We can fix cars to the glory of God. We can teach to the glory of God. We can pastor a church to the glory of God. We can prepare food to the glory of God. We can build skyscrapers to the glory of God. We can compose songs to the glory of God.

You get it.

The next time you start to think that your work/life balance is out of whack, think of more than the different measures you use to define what success looks like in your career. Think of more than how much time you get to spend reading for pleasure or vacations you get to take. Think of more than how much time you get to spend with your spouse and kids.

Think of the whole meaning of life and why you’re working in the first place. Let that perspective help you realize that all of life is work, but it’s work you have been called to. You can have contentment and joy while working. When you experience that, you’ll never think about retirement the same way. You won’t be looking forward to endless rest for the last third of your life.

You’ll enjoy work. You’ll enjoy rest.

And you’ll eagerly think, “what’s next?”

Soli Deo Gloria!

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