Posted by: Susan Gaddis | October 3, 2009

Do You Deserve a Stop-day?

1190484_cozy_cornerDo you deserve to take a Stop-day, a Sabbath, once a week? That may seem like an odd question, but I am surprised by how little we value ourselves.

We are workaholics. Our value resides in our accomplishments. Most of us don’t believe we deserve a day just to rest and enjoy the Creator and the life he has given us.

In her book, Rest, Living in Sabbath Simplicity, Keri Wyatt Kent talks about the problem the Israelites had with low self worth. “They didn’t know how valued they were. They didn’t think they were allowed the luxury of a day off, because for years in captivity, they had not been allowed that. That’s why Sabbath was such a gift, but also a command. They’d been slaves who never had a day off.”

The longest of the 10 Commandments was given by a loving God for those of us who think we don’t deserve a stop-day. The Lord ends this wordy command in Deut. 5:12 with a statement of his committment to our freedom, “. . . Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath” (NIV).

Jesus expands that freedom concept when he heals folks on the Sabbath and allows his hungry disciples to pluck grain on the Sabbath. God is for us–not against us! He values us more than we value ourselves.

A Sabbath day is a gift from God to his children. Although the Lord established Sabbath at creation, he included it in his commandments because his kids do not always value the things he treasures. God values us. We are his treasure. He loves us. He wants us to enjoy the gift of himself that he has given us in enjoying a Sabbath.

Are we free people or still in captivity? Do we believe that God loves and values us? How we consider and observe a Sabbath once a week tells a lot about how we each answer these questions.



  1. Susan,
    You nailed it. I don’t think I am much different from most. My captivity is to cultures definition of success and productivity. When Brad gets home I feel I need to be able to list what I have gotten done that day. I think this may be especially true in our economic setting. Since my business is basically non-exisitent, I battle the feeling of not contributing. This comes from me, not Brad. How can I deserved a day off when I am not “doing” much throughout the week.
    Thanks for reminding us of our value. I hope many besides myself ponder this.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Cathy. I think many of us, including me, recite the “list of things I did today” as a validation of our worth. If there is not much on the list, then we feel devalued. Interesting that God doesn’t do the “list” thing with us. We do it to ourselves. It is like the prison door is open, but we just sit in the cell looking out the door feeling we don’t deserve freedom. Our captivity is all in our minds, not our work. Hope you enjoy a wonderful Sabbath one day this week!

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