Burnout (Part 4)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, July 27, 2008.
VII. Consider Scriptural preventatives against burnout. A. Implementing these steps can prevent burnout and also help the burnout victim to recover. B. Faith in Jesus Christ is a great antidote to burnout. JOH 14:1-3. 1. To relieve him of the burden of guilt, the believer is assured of justification. a. There is mercy to cover the inevitable imperfections of our performance. 1JO 2:1-2; HEB 8:12. b. To avoid burnout, this mercy must be the ground of our hope. PSA 130. 2. Countering the fear of death is the assurance that the believer has eternal life and a place in the Father's house. JOH 11:25-26. 3. Through believing we are filled with joy and peace and abound in hope. ROM 15:13. 4. The believer has abundant assurance that God has his best interest at heart. ROM 8:31-39. 5. The believer is assured that God has a good purpose in allowing problems in his life. 1PE 1:6-8; ROM 5:3-5. 6. The believer can commit himself to the Lord's keeping since he is assured of good in the outcome. 1PE 1:6-8; ROM 5:3-5. C. Intake of the Scriptures is a vital preventative against burnout. 1. Through the Scriptures we have hope without which we burn out. ROM 15:4; PSA 119:81, 114. 2. Great peace comes through the Scriptures. And there is no peace without them. PSA 119:165; PRO 3:1-2; 2CH 15:3-5. 3. In learning of Jesus we find rest to our souls. MAT 11:28-29. 4. In order to profit by the word we must meditate therein rather than merely hear it or read it. PSA 1:1-4. a. Meditate: “To muse over or reflect upon; to consider, study, ponder.” b. Lack of meditation is owing to a lack of love for the law, not a lack of time. PSA 119:97. c. Meditation requires quiet time. JOB 37:14; PSA 4:4; 46:10 c/w DEU 4:39. (1) This means that we must work resources of quiet time into our lives. (2) Q uietness : “The condition of being quiet or undisturbed; absence of noise, motion, or excitement; calmness, tranquility.” (3) Quiet: “Free from disturbance, molestation, or annoyance; not interfered or meddled with; left in peace. Characterized by the absence of all strife, bustle, stir, or commotion; also, free from noise or uproar, silent, still.” (4) Family, work and telecommunications may have to be ignored during this time. (5) Quietness is to be preferred above abundance of things if in having that abundance our life is full of travail and vexation of spirit. ECC 4:6. 5. The difference between reading and studying the word is like the difference between an acquaintance and a close friend. 6. PRO 7:1-4 shows us how intimate we should be with the Scriptures. a. We should keep them like the apple of our eye. b. We should bind them to us. c. They should be written in our heart. d. They should be as close as a sister. e. They should be part of our family. 7. Too many cares will choke the word (LUK 8:14). Therefore we should strive towards a condition of being without carefulness. 1CO 7:32. a. Carefulness: “The quality of state of being careful. Solicitude, anxiety, concern. Heedfulness, vigilance, attentiveness, exactness, caution.” b. Too much carefulness creates too much hustle and bustle which interferes with needed quietness. c. In the context of Paul’s admonition, carefulness refers to having things to care for. (1) To care for – to take thought for, provide for, look after, take care of. (2) Therefore, to be without carefulness is to have fewer things to look after. (3) Without qualification, being without carefulness would in context include not having wife or family (which things God approves of). (4) A measured, sensible approach to being without carefulness is in order lest one conclude that the only truly spiritual believer is a single, penniless, jobless, naked wanderer and meditator. (5) Each must work out his own salvation. PHIL 2:12. 8. If you just don't seem to have the time to meditate in God's word, perhaps it is because you need to redeem that valuable commodity. EPH 5:15-16. a. Redeem: “To buy back (a thing formerly possessed); to make payment for (a thing held or claimed by another). To regain, recover (an immaterial thing).” b. We should spend other things to secure time. c. Some areas where time can be recaptured are: (1) Television viewing. Dare to keep a record of your total hours per week. (2) Recorded movies. Do you really need to rent a movie 4-6 times per week? (3) Excess of novels, magazines, newsletters, etc. which are words but not God's. (4) Telephone, cell phone, texting. AA. A parent related to me some time ago about their teen complaining about not having enough time to do homework and chores. This was a puzzle until the parent reviewed the teen's cell phone usage which was 10,000 minutes in a month! This was in addition to time spent on computer, internet, e-mail and TV. BB. A challenge to adults: if you have a home phone and have no need of a cell phone for business purposes, why would you need a cell phone plan that gives you thousands of minutes per month? (5) Computer games. (6) Internet usage. (7) E-mail (one of the greatest time-stealing “conveniences” ever invented). (8) Excess children's activities outside the home (sports, parties, school trips, etc.) (9) Excess idle socializing. (10) Excessively time-consuming hobbies and pastimes. Dare to account for the total time you spend each month in the pursuit, care of, and practice of a given hobby or pastime. d. The above is not even considering the monetary cost of these interests. (1) For example, consider a fairly representative monthly communication expense: home phone basic plan w/ long distance ($50), internet ($35), cell phone ($30- $80), cable or satellite TV service ($25-$75). This is a range of $140-$240 per month. (2) Add to those fees the equipment and energy cost. (3) At some point a person might consider getting a part-time job to offset his communication costs, and this then robs more time! 9. Since spiritual well-being comes through meditating in God’s law, which requires quietness, does it not stand to reason that our adversary the devil will do everything he can to rob us of that quietness so as to prevent meditation in God’s law? D. Exchange the yoke that you and others put upon you for the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ. MAT 11:28-30. 1. Jesus' yoke is bearable. 1JO 5:3. 2. Jesus does not require you to measure up to everybody else is if they were the standard. 2CO 10:12. 3. Jesus only requires what you are able to do. 2CO 8:12; MAR 14:8. a. Consider the parable of the talents. MAT 25:14-30. (1) Quantitatively, the man with five talents produced more than the man with two. (2) Qualitatively, the man with two talents did the same as the man with five. (3) The man with two talents had to work within his limitations. b. The person who thinks he must do everything and does not accept his limitations thinks too highly of himself. ROM 12:3. 4. Jesus does not demand that you be always available for everybody and everything that would demand your time. a. God teaches us to be considerate of another's time. PRO 25:17; 1CO 16:12; 1PE 3:8. b. God does not require us to be enslaved to selfish people who would be overly possessive of our time. COL 3:23. c. Christ did not let men keep Him from fulfilling His priorities. LUK 4:42-43 MAT 14:22-23. d. Due to his priorities, Paul did not tarry longer at Ephesus. ACT 18:20-21. 5. Jesus does not hold you responsible for everybody's problems. EZE 33:7-9; GAL 6:5. E. Gear your expectations to the Scriptures. PSA 130:5. 1. Expect that you will not please everybody and that you will have enemies. GAL 1:10; LUK 6:26; 1JO 3:13; MAT 10:36. 2. Do not always expect people to appreciate you. 2CO 12:15. 3. Do not set your hope in anything related to money. PRO 23:4-5; MAT 6:19-20; 1TI 6:17. 4. Never trust in man in the way you should only trust and hope in God. JER 17:5-6; PSA 146:3-10. 5. Do not always expect to win. ECC 3:6; 11:6; 1CO 9:22. 6. Do not always expect immediate results. ECC 11:1; JAM 5:7; PRO 22:6. 7. Realize that the best actions do not always yield the best results. ISA 1:2; 5:1-7. 8. Consider that whatever happened to God-fearing people in the Bible could happen to you. JAM 5:10; PHI 1:30. 9. Expect grace sufficient. 2CO 12:9. 10. Never lose sight of the hope of glory since this puts present things in perspective. 2CO 4:17-18. F. Seek quietness. 1. Strength is found in quietness. ISA 30:15. 2. If the Lord is leading us and we are bearing His yoke, we will find quietness. PSA 23:2; MAT 11:29; PRO 1:33. 3. Quietness is an effect of righteousness. ISA 32:17; 57:20. 4. “Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit” (ECC 4:6). 5. We are commanded to be still. PSA 4:4; 46:10. a. The admonition in PSA 46:10 was in the context of war. b. Peter told Christians in the heat of persecution to be not troubled. 1PE 3:14. c. With the sea before them and Pharaoh's host behind them, Moses told Israel to stand still. EXO 14:13. 6. PSA 131 gives the characteristics of one who quiets himself. a. He is not driven by pride. b. He does not concern himself with things that are beyond his capabilities. c. He hopes in the Lord; he gears his expectations to God. 7. We need stillness to turn our thoughts to God and His power in order to avoid burnout. JOB 37:14; PSA 46:10; HAB 2:20. 8. Too much hustle and bustle crowds out time to consider God and His work. ISA 5:12; LUK 10:38-42. 9. We must work resources of quiet into our work schedule. 1TH 4:11; 2TH 3:12. 10. When we tap into the quietness that God gives, then who can trouble us? JOB 34:29. G. Cultivate healthy relationships with brethren, family and friends. 1. Companionship helps us when we fail. ECC 4:10. 2. Companionship provides an opportunity to give and receive love which breeds faith, hope and endurance. PRO 17:17; 1CO 13:7. 3. Unhealthy companionships oppose the quietness of God. PSA 1:1-4.