A Change is as Good as a Rest

My mother always told me that a change is as good as a rest. It is as true today as it was when I was growing up. My non-scientific poll – I asked myself – leads me to the following conclusions.

Change Involves:

Effort

Dedication

Unknown outcomes

The possibility you will like the outcome

The possibility you will not like the outcome

Rest Involves:

Doing nothing

Committing to nothing

The outcome will be nothing

The possibility you will like the outcome

The possibility you will not like the outcome

A change is much more work than a rest.

As I said before the “a change is as good as a rest” saying is as true today as it was when I was growing up. Just like in the 70’s and the 80’s, it’s not true at all. Basic scientific principal says an object at rest will remain at rest. If it remains at rest the outcome remains the same. A change cannot be the same as or as good as a rest because at rest nothing changes, they are considerably different. Being the respectful child that I was (my mother probably would not agree) I never pointed this out when she insisted that this was a trustworthy approach to life although I am sure my moaning and groaning may have given away my opposition.

There’s no rest for the wicked.

This is another popular saying although it was not in my mother’s bag of motivational one liners. From a biblically eternal prospective this statement is true but when we apply it to life here on earth it is actually the opposite. On this earth to rest in our natural state is another way of saying we remain unchanged and even comfortable the way we are. If we do nothing, commit to nothing, the outcome is nothing and during this life we may or may not like the outcome. There is one thing that is for sure, we definitely won’t like the outcome or to put it another way, the lack of rest, that will be the eternity of those who live life at rest in their natural sinful state. A change is much better than a rest.

Is rest bad for a Christ follower?

If we accept the premise that rest is for those who wish to remain in their natural state and change is for those who wish to pursue a life of following Christ then it would appear that those who follow Christ are no longer able to rest. I have no desire to contradict Jesus. It is not a good choice in my imperfection to say something that differs from Jesus who is perfection. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV). To paraphrase this verse while applying it to this post I would say the following, “we need to change from resting in our natural state which leaves us tired and burdened with sin to trusting in Jesus who will give us true rest.”

Change isn’t as good as a rest but biblical change leads to rest.

To rest in our natural state of rebellion against God takes no effort, requires no dedication and therefore leads to no new outcome. A person at rest in their sinful state will remain at rest, weary and burdened by sin but unwilling to make the effort, to dedicate their lives to something more, to move forward from what they know into a journey of unknown outcomes.

There is a paradox created by remaining at rest when Christ is calling you to change. The rest of doing nothing leads to unrest, while the efforts of doing something (following Christ) leads to true rest, both in the midst of this life and for all eternity.

A change is as good as a rest because of Jesus’ promise!

Okay, as much as I hate to admit it, my mother was right. A change is as good as a rest. Jesus promised if we were willing to change our current life location, not where we are on this planet but where we are in relationship to Him, that it would be a place of rest. Now that sounds all lovely and wonderful but there is a catch. This isn’t a pick up your life and move for a one time change of location. Following Christ is about constant change leading to constant rest. I know it sounds almost contradictory but most of the things we are called to do as we work out our salvation are. We must be last to be first and we must die to live are just a few of the Christ following ideals that defy human logic.

In our lives we must change, that is be in motion, to be at rest. We must be in a constant state of movement toward being like Jesus. We cannot rest by taking time off from this pursuit because the natural human way to rest is in our sinful nature. Change from the darkness of sin to a life in constant search for more of the Light is the only way to find rest.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

4 comments

  1. “we need to change from resting in our natural state which leaves us tired and burdened with sin to trusting in Jesus who will give us true rest.” –this sums it up for me. Ouch and amen dude. I am glad I kept reading. Lots to take away from this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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