5 Important Lessons to Avoid Burn Out

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

May 18, 2011

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Guarding the Heart Series

[This post is a part of the, Guarding the Heart power series. View the topics here.]

Honestly, one of the most difficult things in my journey in the ministry has been to learning to rest. I’m constantly thinking, planning, trying, working, seeking, but resting. Every year I promised not to take up meetings every week but failed. So much that even though many did not know about it, it did tire me out physically.

In the nineteenth-century God used a mighty man of God named, Robert Murray McCheyne. In 1827 at the age of twenty-three, he was already leading a Presbyterian congregation of over a thousand people. He worked so hard that his health finally broke. Before dying at age twenty-nine he wrote, “God gave me a message to deliver and a horse to ride. Alas, I have killed the horse and now I cannot deliver the message.”

This remains as a truth not just to preachers but to those of who you who have not bothered about resting your body.

The Adrenaline Problem:

There is a chemical secreted called Serotonin in our body which is a natural, feel-good hormone. It replenishes during times of rest and then fuels you while you’re working. But when we do not take adequate rest the serotonin will be deplete causing a substitute, our body forces serotonin to replace with adrenaline.

The problem is that the adrenaline is designed for emergency use only. Continue to live in that state is to let your health to be destroyed. This happens to all kinds of people but mostly to those who live with an overload of expectations. This leads to depression, indecisions, anxiety and even isolation.

Here are few lessons that could help us:

Lesson #1 – Learn Surrender

Could it be that not everything in our life happens because we have worked 24/ 7. We need to be constantly be aware that God is the promoter. We need to learn to surrender to His will by trusting His ways over our ways and God’s thoughts over our thoughts. Let us constantly remind ourselves that, “God can do through us in a day, what we can do by ourselves in a life time”

Lesson #2 – Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Ambition can push us to do everything and anything that we are motivated about. May be they are good but it is not necessary that we need to do them all. We loose out on focus of the real thing by doing everything that comes our way. Hold on to your goal, your vision from God and focus on those alone.

Lesson #3 – Withdraw Often

I wonder if I have to say anymore more than, “Our master did it and so must we.” Plan on a timetable when you will withdraw each day, each week, each month and each year.

Lesson #4 – Invest Your Energy Wisely

Plan it such a way that you use the most active energy times for the most important works. Use your best times of energy in the presence of Jesus. Don’t waste your most active times to doing things that are not so productive or not so important.

Lesson #5 – Live Healthy

A strong correlation seems to exist between a lack of sleep and developing certain heart conditions. It appears that 7 to 8 hours is about right, while 6 or less can be harmful. Thanks to Tiny, I have become more health conscious than I was before marriage. (That does not mean I do not break the rules occasionally) But we try.

We try to motivate each other to exercise daily at least when we are back at home in Bangalore. Which of course is rare, yet it certainly seems to help us be more active physically and mentally. You may not be able to swing into all of this at one go but you can start one step at a time and start today.

I hope we go on to steward well the body, that is the temple of God, for His glory.

Now your turn, how have you practised resting in God?

[Next week: “5 Crucial Keys to Overcome Hurts” You can be notified here. This post is a part of the, Guarding the Heart power series. If you missed, you can read the root post here.]

Series NavigationHow to Guard Your Heart’s Intake >>5 Crucial Keys to Overcome Hurts (GTH – Series) >>