Is it okay for a Christian to take a vacation?
The biblical answer to this question is rooted in the ideas of rest and stewardship. Vacations, or "holidays" as they are called in some parts of the world, are not mentioned in the Bible, but specific times of rest are discussed, as is stewardship of time and money.
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The idea of Sabbath, or taking one day a week to rest from labor, was established by God as He concluded His week of creation. He rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2–3) and instructed His people to do the same (Exodus 20:8–11). The meaning of the Sabbath has been fulfilled in Jesus, and it is no longer a requirement for Christians. However, the principle remains important. Though in Jesus' day the Sabbath had become a burden of strict rules to follow, it was meant to be a gift to us (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath was intended to be a time to worship, rest, and find restoration. We show a trust in God for His provision by not working; we rely upon Him to reenergize our bodies, minds, and spirits; we worship Him; and we receive His refreshment. Vacation can be a means of experiencing this rest and refreshment.
Jesus often removed Himself from the crowds, and even from His disciples, to rest and draw close to the Father. We are to see Him as a model, as He was perfect man. He sometimes instructed and invited His disciples to join Him (Mark 6:31). Jesus and His disciples did not always work, but took time away.
We rest every day through sleep. We are created to have rhythms of work and rest. It isn't that rest, whether daily, weekly, or annually, is our goal, but finding a balance of work and rest gives us a harmony with God's intentions (Psalm 90:12, Ephesians 5:15-17).
Taking time away gives us an opportunity to rest our minds, bodies, and spirits. It gives us the opportunity to build relationships in intentional and significant ways. Whether you travel to a far-off land, or rest at home for a “stay-cation,” it is important to submit your plans to God. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17).
We are also instructed to be wise stewards of our finances and time. It is not godly to pay for a vacation by going into debt (Romans 13:8) and we should strive to create affordable, restorative vacations for ourselves and our family. Spending money on vacation is not wrong; the time to build on important relationships, be restored and rested, and experience new venues is worth the financial investment. Ask God for wisdom when planning a vacation (James 1:5) and enjoy!
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