The Rest You Need: Jesus or Netflix?

We long for the peace that comes from true rest, don't we?

Many of us know where rest is found, yet we often settle for a rest that is shallow, fleeting, and far less satisfying than the one that's held out to us.

Life can be tiring.
Work can be tiring.
Relationships can be tiring.
Even our walk of faith can be, at times, so very tiring.

We grow weary—pursuing true rest can feel like work—and so we settle to be passively entertained or mindlessly distracted, instead of pursuing the rest that is found at the foot of the Cross.

True rest can feel like work—and so we settle to be passively entertained or mindlessly distracted.

Our Savior spoke these words: "Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28 NASB). What is Jesus offering us in these words? What does it mean to rest in Christ?

I've been discussing these questions with some sisters in Christ, and one friend spoke these words:

"Far too often, when I'm weary and exhausted at the end of a day and know I need rest, I choose Netflix over Jesus."

Maybe you, like me, know exactly what she means. It's been a long, tiring day. Life's concerns are pressing in. You feel weary in mind and heart and just want a moment of rest. So you (and I) pop on Netflix, browse Facebook and Twitter, or look at pictures on Pinterest, instead of getting on our knees and seeking the face of our Savior.

Leisure and entertainment can be good gifts to enjoy. There is a time to unwind. Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are morally neutral things that, when used appropriately, can be enjoyed with a clean conscience. But how often, when we're tired and in need of communion with our Savior, do we distract ourselves with these other things first? The question, then, is not whether we enjoy Netflix or Facebook at the right time, but whether we turn to these things for rest in place of turning to Christ.

A computer screen beckons and says, "Relax."
Jesus beckons and says, "Come!"

True rest is not when we empty our minds but when we fill our minds with Christ. It's not when we disconnect from life but when we connect to the Giver of life.

Who will we answer? Too many times it's been Jesus I need, but foolishly, I respond to the alluring promise that the best rest will come through mindless leisure. Christ's rest is far sweeter than anything on Netflix or social media, for true rest is not an emptying of mind but a filling.

What does resting in Christ actually mean? The 19th century writer and pastor, J.C. Ryle, describes the ways that we find rest in Christ through the promises in His Word:

Jesus will give you rest from guilt of sin.
Jesus will give you rest from fear of law.
Jesus will give you rest from fear of hell.
Jesus will give you rest from fear of the devil.
Jesus will give you rest from fear of death.
Jesus will give you rest in the storm of affliction.

We look back to the Cross in order to remember the rest that Christ accomplished; and we look forward to glory, knowing that perfect, eternal rest is our future.

For the Christian, true rest is not when we empty our minds but when we fill our minds with Christ. It's not when we disconnect from life but when we connect to the Giver of life.

What about you? When you're spent at the end of the day, where do you turn to find rest?

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Elisha Galotti

Elisha Galotti

Elisha lives in Toronto, Canada, a city she loves and longs to see won for Christ. Her husband, Justin, shares her heart for their city and is thankful that God brought him to be the pastor of West Toronto Baptist Church. Though Elisha spends most of her time mothering her three wonderful and funny little ones, she is a lover of the arts and teaches ballet part-time. 

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