Discovering a work-life balance is a challenging endeavor, particularly in a driven society such as the American culture. Central to the American roots of society is the idea of working hard to achieve the American dream of prosperity and success against all odds. The question eventually must be addressed, however, at what point does work cease to provide a satisfying and happy life, and becomes a burden that robs one of truly living. To go a step further, as followers of Christ, how should rest be incorporated into the rhythms of an individual’s life?
Throughout the Old Testament, God encourages the Israelites to make room for rest. Most notably is the account of creation where God, after six days of fashioning the world with his hands and speaking it into being, he rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2-3). Later on when he is giving instruction to the people of Israel, God commands for them to take the seventh day of the week and rest (Ex. 20:8-10). Rest is actually a blessing of God available to his people (Ex. 33:14).
Even outside of a biblical perspective, it is evident that rest is a necessary part of a healthy work-life balance. Employers should desire for employees to have ample periods of rest in order to remain efficient at their jobs (Witherington, 2011). In order to do this, though, individual’s must fight the urge to get caught up in the American dream temper material expectations in their lives (Witherington, 2011). The Apostle Paul considered this to be a theology of enough where he said, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.” (Phil. 4: 11-13).
This is the key to cultivating balance in one’s life when it comes to work.
Witherington III, B. (2011). Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.