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We’re called to a living faith, one that’s active and engaged and not passive or lazy. But this doesn’t mean we can accomplish the good God has for us in our own strength or by turning to the things of this world to save us. We find true life and make an impact for good only through returning to God and resting in his presence.

To be fair, working hard is part of our faithful stewardship. We must show up and offer our blood, sweat, and tears to bring more life and goodness into the world. And it’s foolish to expect the fruit of a good life without first laboring and planting the seeds needed to produce this.

At the same time, it’s very easy for pride to sneak in and tempt us to make an idol of our own good efforts. We assume life is dependent on our ability to figure things out and make things happen. Or perhaps we turn to the popular and politically correct answers of our day to find our way forward. But whatever it looks like, we eventually allow our souls to be crushed when our eyes don’t remain fixed on God.

Repentance then is returning wholeheartedly back to God as the source of our life and our guiding light. But even here we’re not simply redoubling our efforts to work harder. Instead, we learn to rest in his presence. And it’s in this quiet confidence that we find the strength we need.

To be sure, the gift of Sabbaths and holidays is in part to bring us back to this needed posture of repentance and rest. These are moments to pause from our work as usual and turn our hearts back to God with gratitude – resting in his presence with celebration for all the good he has done for us.

In the end, the good life is not dependent on all your hard work. Work hard and allow times such as holidays to call you back to repentance and rest – looking to God for life while resting in his provision.

Photo by Nikola Jelenković on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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