How Healthy Is Sunday?

August 1, 2019 by Gregg DeMey

Over the Summer months, our worship services have highlighted one of the core spiritual rhythms that God’s Word teaches: practicing the Sabbath. Our pastors and preachers have tried to define a basic practice Sabbath this way: “Stop work (as you define it) and fully enter into worship, rest and play.” This is such a great idea, which makes sense, since it’s God’s idea!

No matter how great the idea, it can be difficult to evaluate how (un)healthy, (dys)functional, or even (non)existent one’s Sabbath practice is. There is a short survey below to help you take your Sabbath temperature. The stakes are high! A regular Sabbath is not merely for our personal enjoyment, but keeps us open to the voice, presence, and resurrection power of Jesus himself. It’s the difference between living out of God’s grace and trying to make it on our own strength.

Excerpted from “The Emotionally Healthy Leader” by Peter Scazzero, pp. 149-150
Next to each statement, write down the number that best describes your response. Use this scale:

5 = Always true of me

4 = Frequently true of me

3 = Occasionally true of me

2 = Rarely true of me

1 = Never true of me

_____ 1. I regularly practice Sabbath by setting aside a twenty-four-hour period in which I stop my work and rest

_____ 2. Sabbath provides a healthy boundary and limit around my paid and unpaid work

_____ 3. I take time on my weekly Sabbath to delight in God’s innumerable gifts (eg. people, beauty, hobbies, the outdoors, food, music, etc.)

_____ 4. I am comfortable letting go of my responsibilities on Sabbath, fully trusting God to run the world and build his kingdom without me

_____ 5. I find my identity primarily in God’s love rather than in my work or my productive roles

_____ 6. I apply my Sabbath guidelines of stop, worship, rest and play to extended vacations and holidays

_____ 7. I intentionally prepare and plan for Sabbath so that I have the time and space to focus on God’s love coming to me through the many gifts from his hand

A quick word about interpreting your responses:

If you scored mostly ones and twos, you are probably struggling with working more than God intends. You may want to prayerfully consider beginning with a 12-hour Sabbath once a week as a way of gaining a foothold into this essential practice.

If you scored around a three-ish average, you have likely already begun leaning into the rhythm of 6-to-1, work-and-rest that God wove into creation. Perhaps there is one of three areas (worship, rest, play) that would benefit you to emphasize moving forward.

If you scored mostly four and fives, you are wonderfully positioned to deepen your experience and enjoyment of the goodness that God offers through the gift of the Sabbath.

Grace to you as you continue to lean into Sabbath even as regular routines resume.

Pastor Gregg

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