Burnout is such a bummer, isn’t it? We say “yes” to opportunities with hopes and dreams of honoring God or making a difference. Yet, something happens along the way and instead of glorifying God helping others, we accidentally end up hurting ourselves. Over the years, I’ve learned to ask two important thoughts that allow me to use wisdom in avoiding burnout. I hope that these two thoughts provide helpful wisdom for you:
1. God can work powerfully in what doesn’t get done just as much as He works in what does get done.
Much of my burnout came from believing that God liked it when I worked long hours beyond my physical strength or available time. However, God never called me to sacrifice my health or my relationships because I spent too much time and energy serving Him.
That breakthrough moment taught me that there will always be more requests and opportunities than the time and energy that I have available. Additionally, I learned to honor how my body was feeling and honoring my most important relationships. It’s always hard to say no, but part of my freedom in Christ has been learning not tie my self esteem or self-worth to my performance, my ministry position or others approval.
2. My burnout-prevention question: What are the things that only I can do?
Most of us love being asked! Whether we’re being asked to join a Bible study, lead a group, give a message or chair a committee, it feels good to be asked. Yet, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between the thrill of being asked and the wisdom to know whether or not to accept.
Therefore, when I am asked to speak, write or join something exciting, I need to consider whether or not I’ll need to use my Spirit-enabled gifts and abilities or whether or not someone else is a better fit for that spot. That’s scary if my self-esteem or self-worth is attached to feeling needed. But, it’s a reflection of my beautiful freedom in Christ when I can say, “Thank you for that invitation. Based on what you’ve shared with me, I could do this, but I think that there is another woman who is uniquely gifted for this task and I don’t want to stand in her spot.”
I’ve used that response many times over the years. It’s been fun watching God use other women in such a powerful way when I was willing to get out of the way. Personally, it’s also allowed me to remain focused on what God has specifically called me to do in His strength and in His power.
As you reflect, which one of those two burnout-preventors do you need to consider on today? Is God calling you to make some changes to prevent burnout?
If you are battling spiritual burnout today, trust that God sees you and loves you. I pray that you give yourself permission to receive God’s love, power and renewing strength in this season.
Barb Roose is a speaker and author who is passionate about teaching women to live beautifully strong and courageous so that they experience God’s great adventure of faith and purpose for their lives. She’s the author of multiple books and Bible studies including Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus and Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle. Barb lives in NW Ohio and is proud mother of three adult daughters. Whenever possible, Barb prefers to eat dessert first.
*Excerpted from Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ by Barb Roose