4 Things to Do to Prevent Burnout
“The alternative to discipline is disaster.” – Donald S. Whitney
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Life is hard. It’s hard because everything takes time and effort. In short, everything takes discipline. Think about it…
- If I don’t watch what I eat, I will gain unnecessary weight.
- If I don’t exercise, I will be out of shape.
- If I don’t keep up with my budget, I will go into debt.
- If I don’t get enough sleep, I will be cranky.
- If I don’t get my work done, I will get fired.
- If I don’t do my homework, I will fail.
- If I don’t invest in my spouse & kids, my relationships will suffer.
- If I don’t spend time with God, my relationship with Him will suffer.
If we aren’t disciplined in these areas, disaster will come fast. Life can be exhausting because of all the things we must keep up with. It would be easy for us to look at the list of things we must do and say, “There’s no way I can do all this.” So, we give up.
I’d like to offer another option: Keep going.
Now I know this is easier said than done, but life is short and each day matters. The easy thing to do would be to give up, but that’s not the best thing to do.
I suggest the following to prevent burnout…
1) Take a Sabbath — There’s a reason God rested on the 7th Day of Creation. He paved the way for us to follow His example. The Sabbath is designed for rest and for worship (Exodus 20:8-10; Isaiah 58:13-14). Each Sunday afternoon, my body and mind feels exhausted. It’s telling me, “Seth, you need a break from your everyday activities.” If I don’t take a Sabbath, I recognize the negative effects it has on me as I continue to drag along. I would also use up all your vacation time and spread it out throughout the year, if possible.
2) Take Baby Steps — Dave Ramsey provides great baby steps to get in financial health. He’s onto something because you see/track progress and can celebrate the small victories. A few years ago I heard a statement to “Start Simply.Simply Start.” If you currently aren’t disciplined in the area of exercise, for example, don’t set an unrealistic goal of working out 6 days a week. Instead work out 3 days a week to start and build up. The goal is to do something instead of nothing.
3) Remember You’re Not Alone — First off, every one of us has to keep going in order to live. Second and most importantly, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have been promised the Holy Spirit is within you. Here are some of the things the Bible tells us to remember about the Holy Spirit dwelling within us…
The Holy Spirit strengthens and empowers us (Judges 13:25).The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom (Exodus 28:3; 31:3).The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to serve God (Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9; Judges 3:10; I Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:6-8).The Holy Spirit fills us with fresh power for service (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 4:31).The Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus (Rom. 8:4, 15-16; 1 Cor. 6:11).
4) Find a Support Group — Why do AA and addiction recovery groups work so well? It’s because there is a support group of others who can encourage you to press on. In the same way, we need at least another person (same sex, unless married) who can help us stay disciplined in our relationship with the Lord and in other areas of life.
The most important discipline to work on is your spiritual life. It all starts with faith.
I Timothy 4:7-8 says, “…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The ways of Jesus Christ have value for all things. If you trust in Him, you have a foundation for everything else. Above all things, don’t neglect Him. Spend time each day in prayer and learning about Him by reading the Bible. It really helps to kick start the day.
Don’t stop living, take care of yourself, and press on! Our time on this earth is short.