Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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Avoid a Dead Heart: Rest! - Homeword - January 12

Avoid a Dead Heart: Rest!

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. —Deuteronomy 5:12

Of all the written languages in the world, Chinese characters are probably the most beautiful and difficult to understand and learn. Each character corresponds to a spoken syllable with a basic meaning. However, many words combine two or more characters to express an idea that is different from the original words used to create it.

For example, the Chinese character for the word “busy” is written by combining the characters for “heart” and “dead.” How appropriate. For when we are overly busy, we lay the foundation for a lifeless heart.

I think it would be a challenge today to find someone who is not busy. It is a part of our culture. It almost seems the busier you are, the more applause and affirmation you receive. Yet, a lot can be learned from this ancient Chinese word. Work, projects and commitments are not bad. But when we let ourselves get overly busy--even with good intentions--we tend to neglect the important things. 

There is a reason God created a Sabbath day to set aside and keep holy. He commanded His people to work six days and rest on the seventh. I believe what God is calling His people to do is find a healthy balance. When we get too busy, we are living a life on the verge of disaster…whether that comes to you, your spouse or your kids. In some ways, we are showing that we don’t trust that God will provide for us.

Make an effort in your life to rest and observe the Sabbath. Turn off your cell phone, the television, the computer and the video games. Take some time by yourself or with your family to take a walk or picnic in a park or watch the sunset at the beach. Relax, refresh and renew your soul. Don’t create in yourself a “dead-heart,” create a heart that is filled with life.


1. In what ways have you made yourself too busy? How do you see that that busyness is affecting your relationships?

2. What can you do to have dedicated time each week to rest?


Genesis 2:2; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Psalm 127

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