Fidget spinners have become extremely popular with children and adults around the world in the last several months. Along with their rise in popularity, the fidget spinner phenomenon has created a surprising amount of controversy among parents and teachers.
The small spinning toy is promoted as a tool to help those dealing with ADHD, especially children in school, supposedly allowing them to concentrate better. However, the fad has become so popular and often distracting that some schools are not allowing children to bring the spinners at all.
Spinners have also raised questions in religious circles. Recently, rabbis at the Scientific Institute of Technology in Jerusalem concluded that fidget spinners could be allowable for kids to use on Sabbath, but only as long as they don’t have lights on them. If spinning turned on lights, then that would be considered work, which would not be acceptable to them on the Sabbath.
The Bible is clear that we are to refrain from secular work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8–11). But as Christians living in a complex world today, what do we define as work? Is turning on a light or an oven actual work, as our Jewish friends think? What does the Bible say?
Jesus lived in a time of extreme Sabbath regulations, yet He encouraged His disciples to focus on the purpose of the Sabbath, bringing hope and healing to others (Luke 6:9). Jesus lived the principles of Isaiah 58, and He calls us to follow those same principles, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free” (Isaiah 58:6). This focus on doing good rather than working for our own benefit is one of the keys to following God’s plan for the Sabbath.
God’s promise to us is that when we put away our own ideas, devices, and schedules and instead focus on His service, His Word, and His heart on the Sabbath day, we will find lasting joy and satisfaction in Him. (Isaiah 58:11-14) Have you found this joy in following God’s principles in your life?
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