Pastor Joshua Goodin
“Are You Burnt Out?
1 Kings 19:1-8 (NIV)
There are a lot of people that are burnt out. Billions of dollars are spent each year on employees who experience burnout in the workplace.
One of the reasons that some of you are unable to function at maximum altitude is that you are burnt out. It does not make you a weak believer, it does not mean that you are any less Holy Spirit-filled, or ungifted because you’re burnt out. Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It results from excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. In most cases, it’s related to one’s job or assignment. Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with life’s incessant demands. According to Herbert Freudenberger, burnout is more than being a little stressed out, if left unchecked, burnout can show up as a physical, mental, or emotional illness1. A sense of inefficacy, a lack of pleasure in the assignment, lack of motivation.
*What happens when you’re following the assignment God has called you to and people want to see you die? What happens when you’re walking in your calling, yet people don’t want to see you fulfill your assignment? Sometimes you think because you are called that it means you’re not human. Every believer of Jesus Christ is still a human being, and all of you at any moment can deal with burnout. Some of you are burnt out and don’t even know it. Burnt out in marriage, parenting, caring for loved ones, or by work.
*Even when you’re away it’s not easy to escape your responsibilities. Still praying for people’s hearts to be turned who were a part of the fellowship before the pandemic and haven’t been back into fellowship since. Praying for people that have been serving that they don’t become burnt out, exhausted, and fatigued that they stop working. Praying that God would send help and new converts. Every now and again you need God to send you a reminder that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Sometimes when you’re working you can feel like your work is in vain when you don’t see change.
*You are at a place in your life physically that you’ve never been before, and it’s contributed to the fact that there were some things you dealt with during the pandemic. You didn’t reward yourself for surviving it, that you never realized that you’re lonely and that isolation can sometimes be the greatest cause of death. Things have changed in your life, your weight, you’ve gotten older, and things don’t work the way they used to. The moment you can be honest with yourself is the moment you can start healing. Brokenness can lead to burnout. Exhaustion leads to burnout, burnout can lead to depression, and depression can lead to suicide. Don’t just pray about it. You can pray, fast, and go to the altar every Sunday, but if you don’t make some changes what good is it? God does his part; you must do yours.
*When you’re serving the wrong God, you’ll always be left hanging. You don’t want to be honest that you’ve erected and exalted some gods in your life that you keep serving and you’re always left empty because there is only one true and living God. Don’t think because you’re having moments of success that you’re still not burnt out. Don’t think that just because good things are happening in your life that you’re still not exhausted with life, you’ve just experienced a reprieve. The thing about burnout is when you get done being happy and celebrating it's waiting for you. Exhausted with making decisions, tired of being there for other people, tired of being a lender, sometimes feeling like wanting to be the borrower or just being the one you don’t call when you need. Tired of serving, feeling like you’re serving all by yourself, in a ministry with people but feeling like a ministry of one. The word of God is a two-edged sword that can cut you and heal you at the same time because some of you need to be cut. Some of you are burnt out because you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Burnt out because you feel like you’re the only one fighting in this thing, yet you’re not the only one in it.
*You’re at a dangerous place in your life when you’re so burnt out that you feel the only reprieve you have is death. Therefore, burnout cannot be left undealt with because it can lead you to these places. You need to take some evaluation. Learn how to put your trust in God, not people. When you allow God to show you who to delegate to, he will give you the people and then move on the heart of the people, so when you come to them, they’ll say yes. In “your world” you develop the mentality that you can do everything because you get tired of people showing up and not showing up. If people are going to show up late, with a bad disposition, and a poor work ethic; why come? Think about how you show up to work. People at work tolerate you because how you show up on Sunday is not how you show up Monday-Friday. You have invited them to church, shared flyers with them, and shared them on your social media pages, but they think you are a devil that doesn’t go to church. Sometimes you can become burnt out because there’s more that you have to offer, but people can only see you for where you are. One way of overcoming burnout is by putting people where they’re supposed to be, and one of the reasons you become burnt out is because you’re trying to do so much because people are out of position. When people are in the right position it lightens your load. What sense does it make for people to talk about the impact that you made but you were only able to serve in a small window of time because you got burnt out and couldn’t serve anymore?
*Lighten your load and get back to your place of productivity. You can’t be what you’re supposed to be until you get freed to do it. One of the reasons you can’t be freed is because you’re overwhelmed by stuff that does not matter. Let go of stuff. You keep putting your energy into things, there are some people you will never be able to change, and you must be ok with it. It’s not your job to change them, it’s your job to bring them to the one who can change them. Offer them Jesus, pray for them, and keep it moving. There are people that need to be touched by you that are waiting. Sometimes letting go is walking away from people that you love. Sometimes you need to go to a place where you are a stranger because they are waiting for a stranger to come and change their lives. You must be ok when God calls you to do what he’s called you to do, as opposed to what you want to do.
Signs of Burnout at Work — and What to Do about It. Betterup.com. Published 2021. Accessed July 4, 2022. https://www.betterup.com/blog/signs-of-burnout-at-work#:~:text=Burnout%20is%20a%20relatively%20new,devastating%20impacts%20down%20the%20road.