Don’t Check Your Emails


Where I work, August is holiday season. Work slows down. People put down their tools and get away. But do they?

They certainly go away. But three times recently my colleagues have told me they’ll be checking emails while they're  on holiday.

So their tools are still very much plugged in. Why can't we completely stop?

Disaster, control and identity

Some of us like to think our work is so important that stopping completely would be a disaster. For the company. For customers. For the world.

Others use work to gain control – over others or over their own lives. Surely hard work means I won’t lose my job? So life will be sorted. Stopping risks all this.  

Others find their identity in hard work – being known as competent, reliable, a high-flyer. If work defines you, when it’s gone – even for a few weeks –you’ll feel lost.


Each of these ways of thinking shows our desire to be God (Genesis 3:5).

Only God’s work is necessary to keep the world spinning (Psalm 95:4). Only God has ultimate control over our lives (Romans 8:28).  Only God can root our lives in a cast-iron identity (1 John 3:1).

So here’s the logic.

If nothing collapsed when the eternal God rested, how much more should we put our work down?

As limited, dependant, humans, we should stop. Like God, when we’re on holiday, we should ‘rest from all our work’ (Genesis 2:2).

Rest Hard

Before going away, I felt like the worst team member for not committing to check my emails. I felt I was letting my boss down.

But who’s the real boss?

To not rest properly is to mistrust God about what he says I need. Yes, godliness at work means working hard.

But perhaps we display the gospel even more clearly in how hard we rest.