Bible Reading: Matthew 11:25-28
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
I don’t know about you, but I am an early bird. My most productive hours are before 2 pm, and as sunset arrives, my concentration decreases rapidly. My body is tired and tells me, “go to sleep” by the end of the day. But, what do all teenagers do when their body tells them to sleep, and it’s only 9 pm?
You can probably guess. Screen entertainment is a big one for all of us, especially at night. If you’re still doing work at 9 pm, great! But what do you do to “wind down” after you’ve finished all your work? Our body tells us to sleep, but we desire to scroll endlessly on Instagram, watch YouTube, Tiktok, play games and the like.
Why are our hearts geared this way? Because inside, we think that entertainment will be refreshing for our tired souls. We believe it will help us wind down. We always say “ten minutes” to ourselves, but it always goes overtime, by hours even. Does our entertainment actually refresh us? Is it doing us any good? I’m not saying it is wrong. I’m asking, does entertainment help us rest?
Jesus’ concept of rest is paradoxical. Jesus tells us to take up His yoke, learn His ways, and then we will find rest. The ultimate rest for ourselves is not in the media, nor is it in sleep, but it is in obeying and following Jesus where He leads. It is only when we trust Jesus with everything that we will find ourselves able to feel rested.
The question is now, what do we do about our pre-bedtime entertainment? Here is my challenge for us all. If we trust and know that Jesus and a relationship with Him will satisfy us, we ought to cut the hours of pre-bedtime entertainment. Instead, we should get to sleep when we are tired, knowing that we can wake up earlier to commune with God in His Word.
If we have not taken up Jesus’ yoke, leaving out entertainment from our daily schedule will seem impossible because that is where our heart seeks a spark of joy for the day. Our hope is placed in our entertainment, and that is a big mistake. Jesus gives our hearts rest, although we have to work through our days. If we follow Him, are close to Him and commune with Him daily, our hearts are satisfied and at rest.
Ultimately, our media consumption is a self-check of how our relationship with God is going. If our relationship with God is dry, naturally, our phones will be our best friends. If we are rested and satisfied in God, consuming entertainment should not be a big deal. It is optional and not always necessary. There are times to be entertained, but it is not essential to keep on living.
Where are our hearts, and where is our rest?
Lord, please teach us Your ways. Draw us into sweet communion with You and teach us Your yoke. Help us to follow You and receive the rest that You offer for our souls. Help us all to check our own hearts and see where it truly lies. Forgive us for all the time we have wasted, and help us to live this one life for Your glory alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.