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What is God’s heart behind ‘rest’? Much of the time we equate ‘rest’ as the opposite of ‘work’. And we know that God loves hard work. He has much to say in the proverbs about diligent hands in work as wisdom for provision. Sometimes we think that the opposite of ‘work’ is ‘laziness’ which God also has much to say on equating it with foolishness. However, laziness is not the opposite of work. Laziness is an attitude that crosses both spectrums. One can be working and in his lack of heart and diligence be lazy in his work. He also can be lazy in his not working. So I’m detaching this word “lazy” from both words.
I’m also challenging preconceived ideas of what our culture has said about ‘rest’ and any previous connotation attached to it. Our American values are portrayed in our language, and values are also taught and caught through the language we use. When we are raised with phrases such as “Work before play”, “You can sleep when you’re dead” or “You’ll only make it in life through hard work”, we are both speaking from and with the American mindset that work is the most important thing in life. You won’t make it in life without it, that rest is for the weak and rest is subsidiary to work or unimportant. Go ahead and check your value system. If you are an American reading this, this is probably your attitude. It’s part of the American dream, part of the American history. This is the place where shiploads of immigrants have come for new chances, where individuals had an equal opportunity to education and moving up in life independent of class. Our country has been a dream come true and an opportunity to dream. I love my country and many of the values. Generations have a new start because of the toil of someone’s hands and their hard work.