January 13, 2005
Let us not grow weary while doing good…
I’m confident that, like me, you’ve known times when you were totally drained, exhausted, out of gas. This loss is so common in our fast-paced world that it has a name: burnout.
Burnout can be defined as a state of mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual fatigue. It can be brought on by good things, such as devotion to a worthy cause or ministry. In fact, Christians are very prone to burnout, because they are committed to what they’re doing and want to serve the Lord.
But whatever the cause, we are seeing an epidemic of people who have lost their passion for life. They have burned out. Some have walked out on their families or abdicated other responsibilities. A number of burned-out pastors have chosen to leave their churches.
People reveal the symptoms of burnout in their conversations. Think about how often you have heard someone say, “I’m overcommitted,” “I’ve got to find some time for myself,” “My schedule is out of control right now,” or “I’m tired of being tired all the time.”
A loss of passion in life can be the result of physical exhaustion, but more often than not it comes from a tired spirit. Too many people are bored with their lives. Everything has become bland, boring, and routine. This sense of boredom and sameness can also invade Christians’ church involvement and their service for the Lord.
The problem is not that the Christian life is boring. Far from it! But we can allow frustration with ourselves, disappointment with others, or unfulfilled expectations to get the best of us, and before we know it we have grown weary. Paul warned again this in Galatians 6:9. Spiritual, emotional, and physical weariness is a part of our imperfect human condition.
A lot of people today have been set up for burnout, which leads to a loss of passion, by the insane pace of modern life. Maybe you feel like you’re running on empty right now, or that you’re in a rat race and the rats are winning. If so, my hope is that the biblical principles in this chapter will help refresh and renew your heart and restore your spiritual passion.
A DOUSED FLAME OF SPIRITUAL PASSION
IS A SIGN OF BURNOUT.