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If we don’t take care of ourselves by doing these things, we’ll burnout. We don’t Glorify God by burning out and stopping the good works we were doing. He wants us to endure in our difficult good works. We need to look after ourselves so we can do so.

Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another post. Today I’m continuing with my shorter posts, which I plan to do for awhile.

Today’s post is about finding a healthy balance in our Christian lives. Being a doer of the Word takes a lot out of us. Rest is a need, not an option. Without proper rest and self-care, we’ll burnout and be unable to continue on our Christian path. And if we burnout and stop doing our good works, that doesn’t Glorify God. He has no need for half-done works!!

So that’s what today’s post is about. Some thoughts on this question. What should we do?? Let’s talk about it.

If you enjoy today’s post, you may also like this older post called “Balance Is Divine.” Check it out.

It’s a Hard Life

As I often say on my blog, Christianity calls us to take the hard route through life. The counterintuitive route. The self-sacrificing route. The unconditional altruism route. As Christians we must ignore and deny what the flesh wants. We must act in a higher, more Spiritual way instead. This isn’t easy at all, and it takes a lot out of us.

This is the life we choose, a hard life of denying ourselves and the primitive urges of the flesh. A hard life of Forgiving others, and turning the other cheek rather than revenge. A hard life of hard work serving the poor. A hard life of giving of ourselves (time, money, labor) for the sake of others. A life that’s hard in so many ways. This is our choice down here on earth so we will have our reward in eternity, with Jesus.

But everyone has their limits, and everyone needs a break sometimes. No one can keep up with this hard life forever with no rest. Even God Himself rested on the seventh day after making creation. But of course our powers and abilities are nowhere close to His, so we need to rest much more often!! Which brings me to the main question on my mind today ….

Where do we find our balance, in this Christian life we live?? If we give of ourselves all the time without ever getting something back, we’ll burn ourselves out and drain ourselves dry. We’ll empty ourselves if we never get refilled with rest and other people caring for us in return. If we empty ourselves out, we’ve got nothing left to give others.

Imagine a jug full of water, because that’s a good example for seeing what I’m saying. Let’s say we are, or we have, a full jug of water. We can pour out water for those who need it, filling their cups so they can have a drink. But when our jug runs dry, we have nothing left to give. At that point we can’t help anybody; neither ourselves or others. So what good is that?? How does that honor God??

We need to get refilled somehow when we need it, or we won’t have any Hope of enduring this brutal Christian Walk.

Empty Jugs Have Nothing more to Give

We’ve got to understand what depletes our resources, what empties our water jug from the above example. Basically, to sum it up as quick as I can … it’s following Christ that does it!!

Every time we turn the other cheek we do violence to ourselves, to our own will, so we can show greater love to our neighbor. This is good, but it hurts to do it (just try and you’ll see). Every time we Forgive those who aren’t sorry, we give up rights to justified (in the world’s eyes) payback, so we can Glorify God by Forgiving others as we have been Forgiven. And so on.

Every time we take the Christian route, it pleases God but it hurts us or takes from us. We have a limited endurance for doing these things. They deplete our inner resources, they drain our water jug. We can’t keep doing them without a meaningful break sometimes.

So what does this mean?? It means we need balance and boundaries in our life. We are responsible for knowing how drained we are. We are responsible for knowing how ‘full’ our ‘water jug’ is. And we need to do what we must to keep our inner resources (Faith, strength, etc.) charged up so we have the energy to live the Christian life. We can’t Glorify God through doing good works and preaching if we run out of energy for doing it!!
We have to get enough rest, set boundaries in our life, and know when to say “no” to requests. If we don’t take care of ourselves by doing these things, we’ll burnout. We don’t Glorify God by burning out and stopping the good works we were doing. He wants us to endure in our difficult good works. We need to look after ourselves so we can do so.

Now I should mention here that in some ways, what drains the water jug is also what fills it up!! As in, it takes something out of us to follow God’s Word, but acting on the Word energizes us too. The good feelings we get from helping others can motivate us to help even more, for example. I’m sure most of you have an experience of that.

But there’s a limit to that. We won’t be able to keep going strong based on those good feelings alone. Self-care, rest, healthy boundaries with people, and turning down requests when needed are all essential for enduring on our Christian Walk. If we don’t take care to do that, we’ll burnout and won’t endure to the end of our journey. And how would that Glorify God??

God is Glorified when we endure in serving Him through good works and preaching, not when we give up due to burnout and leave our job unfinished. We will get very far by praying to God for strength. But we also need to take responsibility for our condition. It’s up to us to know how ‘full’ our water jug (inner resources) is, so that we can keep pouring ourselves out for others. If our jug runs dry, we can no longer pour ourselves out by serving others. That’s not what God wants.

Boundaries, self-care, and rest—these are things we need in our life.

All We Can Do … Is Our Best

Even God rested on the seventh day, so we must take time for rest too. But how do we know when we cross the line from taking needed rest to being lazy?? How do we know when our self-care turns to laziness and neglecting our duties??

How do we know when to do violence to ourselves, denying our own will for the sake of others, and when we should set boundaries and stand firm in our will?? How do we know when to keep giving of ourselves (time, money, labor, etc.) and when to stop, so we still have something left inside??
In other words, how do we know when to follow Christ’s example, and when to take a break to preserve ourselves so we can continue this for the long haul??

Those are tricky questions, ones that I’ve been grappling with this week actually. I think there are no perfect answers here. At first it seems like the right choice would be to be self-sacrificing all the time, but we know that doesn’t work because of burnout. It’s the wrong choice because it will lead to us stopping our good works earlier than God intended.

It’s a tough question, and there are no perfect answers. It’s good to talk about these things though, and so I warmly welcome all comments on this post. Some may feel one way toward this, others another.

But I hope we can agree to leave the questions up to God’s Wisdom. When are we resting too much?? When are we not resting enough?? When are we sacrificing too much?? When are we not giving enough??

We should have a good idea of these things if we’re being honest with ourselves. But if we spend time in prayer each day like we should, then we can ask God to reveal His opinion. We can pray that He will convict us in the Spirit if we’re doing too much or not doing enough. God gives out Wisdom freely to those who ask (James 1:5), so if we ask Him for Wisdom on how to serve Him better, He will happily give it.

And that’s about the best we can do, isn’t it?? If we spend time with God in prayer each day, spend time in His Word, while still trying our best to serve God and our fellow humans to the best of our ability, what more can we do than that?? For real, what more can we do than that??

It’s a delicate balancing act sometimes, this Christian life. To maintain the right balance we need Wisdom more than strength. We may not get things right at first. But if we’re trying our best to follow God, and trying our best to learn from Him, then we know we’re doing the right thing.

If you enjoy today’s post, you may also like this older post called “Balance Is Divine.” Check it out.

Well that’s all for today. If you enjoyed today’s post, be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!

Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,



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4 comments on “Balance or Burnout

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