You Need To Rest Because You Are Not The Savior

“You can rest in Heaven.”

I heard this blunt one-liner many times as a child, and every time I hear it today, I cringe. I’m not sure who coined this callous phrase but I wonder if they had a “savior complex.”


In our pride, it’s easy to believe that WE are the reason that things get done when behind everything we do is the Lord, the Sustaining One, who holds us all together and gives us life and breath.

 Acts 17:28a, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being…

Busyness seems to be the American norm. Everyone runs themselves ragged. We have more conveniences than any other era and we still have no time.

I believe busyness has its roots in idolatry. We run ourselves ragged because we’re trying to keep up the appearance that we are good moms, ministry wives, business women, friends, etc. We serve these idols tirelessly and “busyness” is the means to this end and our bodies and spirit become collateral damage and totally depleted.

Eugene Peterson says that busyness is an “illness of the spirit” and “we are busy for two reasons: vanity and laziness.”

In the Contemplative Pastor he says,

“I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, the heavy demands on my time are proof to myself–and to all who will notice–that I am important.”

Can you relate with this quote? Do you feel a boost in self-worth when your phone is ringing off the hook or you are running here and there to meet the needs of all.the.people. (“savior complex.”)

Remember Martha? Her problem wasn’t serving others, but trying to find her self-worth, significance, and meaning apart from Jesus Christ.

I just had a lengthy talk about this with my oldest daughter as we hashed out what it looks like to “serve” others with a humble mindset while balancing our own needs and schedule and not burning out.

She said something along the lines of “There are certain people who think “Leadership” means always having the answers, being the one everyone goes to…like they have no needs themselves. I like to look at counseling as, “Today, I’ll help you, and tomorrow, you’ll most likely be helping me.” (I just love her!)

I thought this was a great way to avoid becoming too big in your own mind and burning yourself out meeting needs you weren’t ever meant to meet, because

We have a Savior, and He has already come.

So have you allowed busyness to become a measuring stick for your self worth or your commitment to the Lord or the church?

When we get too busy, our body will rebel.

We ran quite a bit the last few weeks, so yesterday we took a “Beautiful Day” to recoup and refresh.

Beautiful Days include staying in our jammies late, sipping coffee on the couch while checking email or reading a magazine, lunch, a walk, music, a candle. We went to the Plymouth Waterfront for lunch and enjoyed watching the boats. We were still and quiet. We noticed the lovely all around us.

Are you run down? Maybe you need to plan for rest and refreshment? Especially you moms of littles who believe that you couldn’t possibly get out/alone for a few hours of leisure.

Let me warn you, don’t be a martyr mom. Don’t kill yourself trying to do it all and never think about your own well being. There’s nothing holy or noble about running your body into the ground.  I don’t see Jesus burning himself out in scripture. I see Jesus resting, getting away for private prayer and solitude, enjoying meals and weddings, and connecting with His disciples.

And then we have his lovely invitation for rest: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden (burdened down) and I will give you REST.”

Here are a few ways I’m resting and rejuvenating my body and soul these days:

How you exhausted? What are you going to do about it? 🙂 Let me know in the comments.


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5 thoughts on “You Need To Rest Because You Are Not The Savior”

  • The same goes for our children. Involving them in to many activities. My favorite times have been Saturday’s when we have nowhere to go playing outside as a family. Enjoying seeing and watching my kids. Not running around in a tisy here and there. Just being at our home with all of us together.

  • Thank you for this great reminder. After a crazy year with language school, I am trying to re-balance my life. I definitely need time set aside to recharge and relax. Also, do you have any podcasts that you recommend? I am definitely going to listen to the link you posted in this post, but I was wondering if you had any other recommendations. Thanks! By the way, I am sooo glad you are going to continue your blog…I have missed your encouraging thoughts! You are an awesome writer!!

  • Love this post! Although I am definitely not pursuing busyness because I want people to notice or to boost my self worth. Could care less LOL! I am busy because I like doing all this stuff – so I have to take a step back and figure out which things are from God. I am also busy because I want my kids to grow up to know the Lord – so I tell myself “what can I put them in to make that more probable” but the Lord has showed me that is not how. It is by HIS grace! Actually lately the Lord has been showing us to pull back on stuff – some long time stuff and to not be the parents that put our kids in everything. Doing things on the side is great, but if you are doing too much your soul starts to suffer instead of benefit as you pointed out in your post.

    I love this quote from the blog:
    “what it looks like to “serve” others with a humble mindset while balancing our own needs and schedule and not burning out.”

    Such a needed balance! Exactly what I truly want to aim for.

    And also how you talk about unplugging when you sense information overload – that is so me! With 3 kids 5 and under I feel like there is constantly something demanding my attention and text messages, email, articles have to go or my brain hurts. So I am putting measures in place to put that in its proper place.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Balance takes wisdom and I keep telling myself that when God’s Spirit prompts me to do something, I WILL know it. Anything that I chase is optional and can be dropped…and should be if I feel myself burning out or losing interest in the One main thing–my relationship with God. 🙂

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