This last week we discussed burnout with my good friend Kristen Carden. If you haven’t listened to that, you should by going here. The topic was of a particular interest for both Kristen and me, as we had both experienced what has become a problem for many, burnout.
Kristen did a great job relaying information on the topic, and I was struck by some of the realities that she brought up. A part of me wanted to re-establish her primary points, but I think I would rather point individuals to the actual episode. Rather than reestablish what has been said, I wanted to expand just a bit.
There can be a variety of ways to express burnout, and one of the most simplistic, I think, is the state of complete and extreme exhaustion. I think there is a distinction between being tired and burnout that must be recognized. Being tried is good in most cases, I’d say, it shows us many things such as a job well done, and accomplishment. Burnout, though, becomes a type of secondary worldview that taints how you see the world and what you do. While you can certainly be tired and remain in the joy of Christ, burnout often has a toll on the care and interest on activities and even life.
Within our culture we have a tendency to strive and work, which certainly has its place in the biblical balance, but we forget a key: Rest. At the end of the discussion, resting in Jesus is the solution to burnout and we, as a culture, tend to neglect rest despite that it is a commandment and despite Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
One of the mentioned points in the episode was going to Jesus, and rightly so. The word is our daily bread, our provision of nutrition, and at one point or another a Christian will learn that a Christian without the bible is like a fish without water. The details of this post could be massive, and many have touched on burnout quite a bit, but I believe the realities of (1) resting on Jesus, (2) setting up boundaries, and (3) saying no to some things, are the practices that are necessary for me, personally, to avoid burnout. At the end of the day, burnout becomes a theological issue. Who are you trusting in? Who are you working for? What are you striving towards? Are you working so hard that you’ve forgotten who you are working for and why you are working for them? Go to Jesus, rest in Jesus, and the work will naturally flow from you and be sustained not by you, but by the living word.
Those are my initial thoughts on this particular subject. I hope you enjoyed the episode, and I hope you have a great weekend.