Rest From My Identity of DOING
Rest. On Sundays I rest. I rest from my identity of DOING. It’s a biblical command tucked in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11 NIV) and an integral, spiritual practice of unhooking our identity from what we DO. God must have known how prone we are to entangle our worth in what we DO, so He mandated it as a weekly practice. By pushing pause on all our normal DOING, Sunday sheds many of the blankets that tend to hide our true worth and identity.
No work on Sundays. No work email. No brainstorming. No grind. No normal household tasks. (Unless my children have no clean clothes for Monday, then a load goes in; a modern and somewhat comical interpretation of Matthew 12:11-12 NIV.)
I sleep in. It’s the one day a the week I let myself do this. We go to church, not every Sunday but it’s a moving target we try to hit regularly. I try and spend some quality time with the kids and my husband just relaxing, simply enjoying who they are, and whatever enjoyable activity is at hand. I try to get outside time. I especially worship. I thank Him for His good, steadfast character, power, and love that are evident in my life. My soul rests in His presence. I am with Him just to be with Him. My true, unhidden self resonates, reflects, and glories in the warm sunlight of who He is.
Putting Sunday-Rest into Practice:
If you are new to Sunday rest, on your first few Sundays, feel the initial awkwardness of resting. What is that uneasiness rising up in you? Pray through those feelings like you would present sea shells you found on an early morning beach walk to a loved one.
When I first began this practice, the uneasiness of unhooking my identity from work, accomplishment, and efficiency was uncomfortable and nagging. I enjoyed the efficiency of “getting things done”, ticking things off the “list” and “making things happen”. It made me feel important, good, and worthwhile of love and respect. It felt as if removing them made me feel naked and “less” and in danger of not feeling worthy of love and respect.
I hated dropping these to the ground every Sunday so much so, I wanted to stop the whole process altogether. But, obedience is not about just doing what you like. There had to be something good to learn here, or else God wouldn’t ask me to do it.
I had to ask myself the tough questions:
Who am I without work and “accomplishment”?
Do I still have worth without them?
Although we were all made with purpose and to complete good works, we are lucky to find out that our worth is not in our doing. Each of us were made worthwhile before we were of any benefit TO God:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6-8 NIV
Before we did anything good for God, even while we were still doing rotten things, He found us worthwhile enough to lay down His own life for us. Even while I was wretched, astray, and haughty about it or even while I was hurt, wounded, and powerless to do any good works for Him, He found me (us) worthwhile to sacrifice His own life.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
See, we were meant for good works. But our good works have nothing to do with the substance of our worth.
Feel your worth in God’s eyes under the surface of everything you do (good and bad). It’s just waiting there to be uncovered and revealed to the light of His presence. You don’t have to prove your worth anymore. It is enough. You are forgiven. You don’t have to hide it. Let your worth be exposed there to the warmth of God’s love, acceptance, forgiveness, and power.
Remember REST TAKES TRUST. Take the time to find a quiet space and mediate on the verse below.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 NIV
What does it bring up for you? Do you wince at the word ALL? Are there areas where you doubt God’s love and provision in your life? Reveal to God the specific areas you don’t trust or believe Him on this promise. Imagine opening your hand to where the wound of mistrust lies. As you admit these areas of doubt and hurt to Him, ask Him to help build your faith in Him and to start meeting your needs in those tender areas. Continue to pray this out over time and see what He does. God is faithful to the humble in heart.
Sundays have gathered up for me. The results of the practice are: more peace, a different view of my worth I carry into the rest of the week with me, and a new approach to doing. I am full of freedom and not slavery to my work, no matter how menial, creative, or “important”.
When I return to my work on Monday, I am refreshed and chomping-at-the-bit in a new way. I am ready to take on my daily tasks in excellence, not in fear. I am no longer a slave to my work or accomplishment. My identity is unhooked from my success and I can move with more freedom and creativity, and creativity loves freedom.