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“They made me take care of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I neglected.” (Song of Songs 1:6b)

Paul urged Timothy to learn this vital principle when he was still young. It contains one of the keys in Christian work: If someone in ministry is not all right, the quality of their ministry will be affected. In Christian ministries, it is easy to find workers who never think of themselves. While selflessness is a Christlike trait, at times we can push ourselves too far, leading to the paradigm of stressed and burned-out people. In order to love God and serve others, we often need to be still, take a rest, and be refreshed. This book will help Christians find the balance between ministry and “monastery,” between the urgent work of service and the place of rest and restoration.

Caring for our own “vineyard”—the talents, gifts, and emotional resources of our personality—is not only a privilege but a duty. It is part of good stewardship, an act of obedience as disciples of Christ. Far from being a sign of a more spiritual attitude, neglecting our own needs can be a serious mistake and even a sin.

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