God's Truth In Love

Spiritual Burnout

In Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on August 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Thursday, April 26, 2012 – Entry – Spiritual Burnout – An open letter…continued.

An open letter…

A friend and spiritual colleague wrote me sharing the following.

And I quote, “In my previous church, I saw that there are "worker bees" serving the Lord, but the reason for their work has been forgotten or pushed to the side. Those who serve do not serve in love for their Master, but serve in fear of reprimand or for some other reason. Duty, obedience? I don’t know why. I just know it isn’t for the Lord anymore, but I believe it used to be.”, end quote.

Now some of my thoughts on my friend and colleague’s insights.

At one time I had a wonderful pastor that told me there are those who are hirelings for the Lord, for them it is a profession and not much else. Then there are those who serve the Lord out of love and devotion, believing that God wishes to use them to make a difference in the world. Now I believe my friend and colleague has touched on a third category, the “worker bees.”

These individuals began serving the Lord out of love and devotion but have somehow reached the point where their service no longer brings joy to them, no longer is considered a privilege to them, but instead is considered somewhat of a burden. For these individuals it is time to take a break. The same wonderful pastor that I mentioned earlier also once told me, “You can hurt just as many as you can help.” Once service becomes a sense of duty only, obligation only, and feels burdensome to the person performing the service that individual can be a liability to the very people they are trying to serve. They are, to put it in a secular term, suffering from burnout.

Godly people suffer from emotional and spiritual burnout at times. It would be better for everyone, including themselves, if they would just realize this fact, accept it, and do something about it. Then once refreshed they can return to service for the Lord. By taking a break they might possibly prevent something from happening that would keep them from being able to return to Christian service.

Why are people reluctant however to take the break from spiritual service they need? The list of reasons why could be very extensive. I would like however to propose a few reasons, for thought and consideration.

1. They are finding their worth through their service to the Lord instead of finding their worth through being a creation of the Lords. When this is the case they cannot give up the service otherwise they are giving up who they are, at least in their minds.

2. They are afraid of being judged by others for taking a break. The fear of being misunderstood or being considered weak is too great for them. These people are living too much for the approval of others.

3. Their relationship with God is primarily based upon “works” instead of love and grace. The concept in these people’s minds is that God somehow loves them more, approves of them more, or blesses them more because they serve Him. The idea of their heart condition during the service seems to play no role, which is why it is more “works” based.

4. Guilt over sin in their lives. These people figure if they do more good through their service then they do bad in their sin, that God will be okay with that. This is not a doctrinally sound Christian viewpoint. This is however human nature. Human nature must be overcome with a Biblical truth.

5. They are simply out of touch with themselves and what is going on with their spiritual life. They’re just going through the motions and serving because “this” is what they have always done.

6. They cannot accept for themselves that everyone even Christians, including Christian leaders, sometimes need a break.

7. Selfish ambition will not allow them to admit their need. They have yet to get out of their Christian service what they want. These individuals are serving for themselves. They are not serving for God or the people, it is about what they want to accomplish.

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