MiniBlog: Bad Sabbath Teaching

by scotteliasmacha

Full disclosure: I am terrible at honoring the sabbath, but I think I know why. 

Have you ever heard or read something by a Christian that said, take your Sabbath and do what you want to do. If you want to watch a movie, play video games, or whatever it is that makes you happy, do that. And don’t feel guilty. 

Here’s why that’s not Biblical, restful, or effective:

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:13-14 ESV (italics added for emphasis)
Bottom line? Seeking our pleasure does not get us delight. So much of Christian teaching on the Sabbath lends itself toward giving yourself a free pass on being selfish. Let me tell you, God did not design us to feel rested from being selfish. We are not fulfilled when seeking our own pleasure. This teaching completely misses the point. 

I believe this has been an overreaction to legalistic teaching on the Sabbath. There used to be, and still is, much lunacy regarding rules and regulations on the Sabbath. 

Here’s my suggestion for making the most of the Sabbath:

  • Spend more time reading your Bible
  • Spend more time praying
  • Talk with your family (or friends) about how God is working in your life 
  • Ask God what He wants you to do

Don’t focus on your own pleasures – seek God’s pleasure and you’ll find true rest.