Mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. Do you feel as though you’re drowning, overwhelmed and powerless? Are you striving to live up to other people’s expectations? Does your spouse or children seem to be growing distant or resentful? Do you regularly mumble and complain? If any of this sounds familiar, it is time to reevaluate.
First you must take responsibility. Realize that no one can put demands on you, that you don’t willingly accept. As you work through this, examine everything through one perspective. God’s perspective. Learn to ask yourself “is this an appointment made for me, by God?”.
If a task or ministry has good attributes, we are tempted to believe that we must be the one to get involved. Either we don’t want to miss out or we sincerely believe that God is calling us. Not necessarily true. Not every request is a call to action that requires a yes. If a task or ministry regularly keeps you from spending time with God or having energy for your spouse or being there to disciple your children, your activities are out of balance. Remember, there are seasons in this life and we are not designed to be involved in everything, during every season. Learn to discern, learn to say no, and learn to turn off the unbiblical guilt and condemnation that plays in your head. I am not recommending that you say no to every opportunity or request – this would be wrong as well. I am recommending that you take some time, examine whether or not their crisis is to become your crisis or whether or not taking on more commitments will rob you of time and energy for your primary ministries. Your first ministry is to your relationship with God, then to your spouse and family. Remember, other people will make requests but only you can determine whether or not it is wise to say yes. The goal here is achieving balance. Don’t go to one extreme or the other – always yes or always no.
Alright, we’ve covered over commitment. Now, let’s talk about one of the ugliest human tendencies, that can keep us exhausted. It is self-glorification. We all know this person. They like to be “important”. They are fantastic at letting everyone know all about the good deeds that they have been performing. Self-glorification is a life suffocating and enslaving cycle. If this is you, step away and go on a strict diet of secret good deeds. If you fail, get back up again. It won’t be easy – you are in a battle, but there is great peace in knowing that your motives are no longer to get the glory for yourself.
Don’t be too good, to be any good. Examine your schedule and trim it down if necessary. Break the chains that bind you to unbiblical guilt and condemnation. Use the reclaimed time and energy to invest into your spouse, children and the people and tasks that God puts on your unique path and yes, enjoy the freedom that comes along with this.
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