Do Preachers Need Vacations? Bridges Tells Us To Be Careful!

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Having come back from vacation to Richmond, VA, I would say an unequivocal “Yes!” to this! However, not everyone feels this way. I turn your attention to Charles Bridges’ monumental work, The Christian Ministry.

Whatever experience has proved to chill our fervor, to dissipate our mind, to divert our attention, or to occupy a larger portion of time or interest, is the “right eye,” that we are called to “pluck out, and cast from us.” Far be it from the Writer to advocate ascetic austerity. He would not render the bow useless by keeping it always bent. He would not forget, that we are men as well as ministers; servants, and not slaves. But do we not warn our people, that the love of any created object, interfering with our Saviour’s claims to supreme affection, ruins their hopes of salvation for eternity? And ought we not to remind ourselves, that the attraction of mind to anyone subject of interest, which diverts our minds from our consecrated employment, involves it in the positive guilt of unfaithfulness to our Master, must bring a curse instead of a blessing upon our Ministry, and may well lead us to tremble for our ultimate safety? The devoted servant of GOd will find a mesure of relaxation in turning from the more painful to the more soothing exercises of his work. Some total diversion will however occasionally be needed. And let him not suppose, that his Master requires labour, when both his body and spirits demand rest. A wise management of diversion will tend rather to strengthen, that to enervate, the tone of his spiritual character, and the power of his Ministry (Charles Bridges, pp. 137-138).

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