Friday, December 21, 2012

Why I Generally Don't Use the Phrase "Breaking the Sabbath"

I understand the traditional phrase "breaking the Sabbath", and I believe in keeping the Sabbath Day holy, but I try not to use the phrase "breaking the Sabbath". I just don't think the Sabbath gets "broken" when someone doesn't "keep it holy". I think we can end up breaking ourselves if we don't set aside time for rest, relaxation, sacred activities, etc. - but the phrase "breaking the Sabbath" simply doesn't resonate with me. As in most things, I try to find wording that makes sense to me, so I don't use this one unless I'm not thinking and fall back into traditional culture-speak.

When I explained this to a friend of mine a few years ago, he responded with the following:
Most of the "commandments," beliefs and practices we have work really great in the positive.

-Keep the Sabbath Day holy, and you will find benefit in it.

-Obey the guidance of God, and you will see Him again someday.

-Families can be forever.

-Following the Gospel will make you a better person

Most of these same things break down quickly with problems when you use them in the negative.

-Break the Sabbath Day and you will be punished.

-You won't ever see God again if you don't obey.

-You will be separated from your family and never see them again if you are not married in the temple, one chance and it's over.

-People who don't follow the Gospel are unhappy and are bad people.
So ...
"Keep a Sabbath and make it Holy. It will bring you benefits."
is much better than: 

"Don't dare break the Sabbath!!"


ji said...

Thanks for sharing this thought!

Patty said...

I like the emphasis on the positive benefits of keeping a commandment versus the punishment aspect so often associated with disobedience.