Being, Not Doing

Exodus 20:8-11

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Some of us become addicted to our work and our accomplishments. It's not that we're just hardworking people; we use our activities to help us feel worthwhile. It's as though we believe deep inside that we are worthless, so we work and take care of others to earn the right to be loved. When our work is at the heart of our self-esteem, we have a hard time stopping whatever it is that gives us a feeling of value. We become slaves to what we do and can never do enough.

The fourth commandment says, "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy" (Exodus 20:8-11).

God gave the Hebrews this command when he brought them out of Egypt after four hundred years of slavery. The only value they had known had been measured by constant work. God reminds us with this command that he cares about who we are as well as about what we do.

God's command that we spend a day resting is clear evidence that he loves us.