Are Leaders Proud to Break One of the Ten Commandments? 

I like to watch and listen to crime shows, do you? Any 20/20 fans, 48 hours fans or any Crime Junkie fans? As I watch and listen to these shows, I always marvel at what price people put on murder? I’ve heard someone hired for as little as $2,000 and as much as $100,000 or more to murder someone else. Sometimes when I am watching a show like this, I get to thinking, could there ever be a price where a normal God-fearing person commits murder? Then my mind goes to the other ten commandments – what about the price for committing adultery? What about the price for dishonoring your parents? 

It may seem a little stark and dark to ask those questions, I get it. But here’s why I ask those questions – because I do believe that none of us would ever consider breaking one of those ten commandments. And yet, way too many Godly Leaders do it all of the time with commandment #9 – Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. 


An Essential first reason for the Godly Leader to keep the Sabbath – it’s God’s commandment to us and for us. It’s actually one of the big ten! 


A second great reason to keep the Sabbath is that our soul care and leadership batteries naturally run low. Did you happen to see all of the Tesla’s that died when it was so cold a couple of weeks ago across the country? They found out their lithium batteries don’t hold the charge in the cold. Well here’s the deal – our batteries are made to hold a charge for six days – sometimes we’re on low battery at the end of six days for sure. It can take up to five hours for a Tesla battery to recharge. For us, most weeks, it takes a solid day. God has given us that charging station called a Sabbath because it’s for our health, our leadership and our soul battery. 


God’s instructions on the Sabbath are simple: Don’t work. Instead, rest and make this a holy day for me as we see in Exodus 20. But over time, religious leaders created a list of rules for what people could and could not do. When Jesus showed up and started healing people on the Sabbath, it rocked the status quo. Religious leaders were angry. Others didn’t know what to think. 

But Jesus was making an important point. The Sabbath was not meant to be a meaningless ritual or an excuse to be lazy. Taking a Sabbath is an exercise in learning to trust God. When we choose to rest and reflect on God, we’re admitting that we don’t keep the world running and God has it all under control. It is Essential for the Godly Leader to commit to and protect their Sabbath. 

When we absolutely have to check our email on our Sabbath, it’s either because that we are addicted, we think that our stuff is more important than God’s commands, we feel that we have too much to do, we have to keep up with the business leaders that work seven days a week or we don’t have a good system in place to be able take a Sabbath. For me, when I get into that rut, it’s a combination of addiction and needing to get caught up. But, as we saw, the Sabbath is God’s plan for recharging our batteries and honoring Him, so it is Essential that Godly Leaders figure out how to best plan and execute a Sabbath each week.


  • 1. Make sure some time is unplanned. This will allow God to work and you can rest from planning and running. In life in general, I personally love to set plans, communicate the plan or ask, “what is the plan?” Some planning is fine on the Sabbath, but leave some unplanned time to allow God to work. 
  • 2. Make sure some time is avocational time. An avocation is something that is pleasurable for you, but that takes some skill and expertise. Usually it is something that others do for a living. This could be a sport, but it also could be anything from carpentry to music. This is somewhat analogous to planting a different crop in a field one year in order to replenish nutrients and make the land more fertile for its ordinary produce.
  • 3. Make sure some time is contemplative time. The Bible requires that we observe the Sabbath day with gathered worship, but that is not all we should do. Prayer, solitude, journaling, reading and reflection are all crucial ways that we replenish our inward resting in Christ and his work alone for our salvation. Hebrews 4:1-10 draws a remarkable analogy between the gospel of free grace and the Sabbath. The writer says, “there remains, then, a rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work just as God rested from his.” (v.9) When we find salvation through Christ and grace, we rest from the most debilitating work of all — the work of establishing our own worth through our efforts, the work of earning our own salvation.
  • 4. Make sure some time is aesthetic time. The Genesis account indicates that God rested from his work at least partly in order to enjoy his creation. Throughout Genesis 1 and 2 we see God viewing all that he has made and saying, “It is good!” “It is good!” We also need to take time to simply enjoy the beauty of God’s world. The main thing to do with beautiful landscapes or great music or some other form of the arts is to take it in and say, “That is so good.” This refreshes and energizes in unique ways that the other forms of resting do not.
  • 5. Make sure some time is allocated to nurture relationships. This is time with your family and friends, time set aside to pay full attention to the most important people in your life. Again we see that this kind of time replenishes and nourishes you in ways that the others cannot.


Let me come back to the reasons I listed about that we can’t keep a Sabbath.

  • 1. Addicted to email – work hard at breaking the addiction, pray about it, seek counseling for it. Turning OOO on and email / chat off for the Sabbath day is a great practical start. 
  • 2. Our stuff is too important or we have too much to do. Quite simply Godly Leaders have to realize and recognize that keeping the Sabbath is more important and Essential than anything else you have to do. Studies also show that you actually accomplish more in a complete week if you have a full day off, then if you work seven days a week. 
  • 3. We don’t have a good system in place. Let’s hit some pro tips to help you put a good system in place. 


  • 1. Use an Out Of Office message on your email – this communicates Sabbath, rest and customer service. Set the example for others by putting on your Sabbath out of office “You’ve caught me on my Sabbath, I’ll get back to you tomorrow.” 
  • 2. Pick a Sabbath day, communicate a Sabbath to your team and honor the Sabbath.
  • 3. Start now with prayer – confess to times of breaking of the Sabbath, thank God for the gift of Sabbath and ask God for discipline and commitment. 

Taking a Sabbath is an exercise in learning to trust God. When we choose to rest and reflect on God, we’re admitting that we don’t keep the world running and God has it all under control.

One final word – your daily quiet time is a daily Sabbath of sorts – be sure to commit to that as well for a daily replenishing. Our jobs and roles are too important and wisdom is deeply needed – so having our souls cared for daily and weekly by our Creator and Savior is of the utmost importance. More important than that task in front of you. 

We could talk a lot more on this topic, but we’ll leave it there for now. What are your thoughts or questions? Leave them in the comments. If you found this blog helpful or thought-provoking, please subscribe below to receive a new blog in your email every other Tuesday morning. Also, if you think this blog would benefit others, please share it on social media or tell a few friends about it! 

Love being on this Essential Godly Leadership journey with you!

Essential Godly Leadership: “Leading your life, your family, your work, your relationships, and your world in a way that is seeking wisdom from, and pleasing to, the Lord Jesus.”


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