All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy

The quote “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” is an old English proverb expressing the idea that if we focus our lives solely on work, then we become dull and boring. It was made famous in modern times largely due to the Stephen King book and movie “The Shining“.

The Bible teaches us that there are times when we should refrain from work, but for completely different reasons: to worship God and to refresh ourselves.

Within the Ten Commandments we are instructed to “remember the sabbath to keep it holy”. In the New Testament the Church gathered together on the first day of each week to worship God and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These times are intended for us to set aside so that we could be spritually and physically refreshed.

Even Jesus, during His ministry, took time to rest with His disciples:

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. – Mark 6:31-32 NKJV

Furthermore, Jesus also taught the appropriate perspective on the “sabbath”. God has given us the Sabbath day for our benefit.

And he said unto them, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” – Mark 2:27 NKJV

God has ordained at least one day a week for us to put away our work, focus on Him, and get rest for our body and soul. Let us look at our day of worship as a favor God has done for us rather than as a burden of service. It is for our own well being.

There are also times where we may need an extended period of rest, and as we do so, do it with the knowledge and gratitude that this too is a gift from God. With such an attitude your “down time” is sure to become “up time”.

Lastly, taking time off from work for relaxation has nothing to do with keeping yourself interesting so as not to bore others. This is a worldy perspective and not Biblical in the least. God has created each of us for His purposes, and if we take the Bible’s approach to rest, He will surely use that time to make us more like the Master.

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