Have you ever heard a brother or sister in Christ who in their zeal for the Lord say, “I just want to burn out for Jesus!”
While I appreciate their passion, frankly, that’s just stupid and unbiblical.
We are called to run the race set before us with endurance and finish well.
In order to do this, we need to pace ourselves properly and refuel effectively.
I don’t know much about marathon running or triathlons, but I do know that these athletes have to go at a pace that they can maintain throughout the race and that they have to take in some form of food and hydration to keep going.
If they don’t, their body will burn out on them and they will have to quit the race.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “How have you lasted all these years in counseling and not burned out?”
The simple answer is that I have purposed to draw on Jesus’ strength and not my own.
But I have also been mindful of not over-committing my time to ministry.
What? That sounds so ungodly!
It’s actually wisdom.
I know my pace.
Even when I worked on a church staff, I guarded my day off tenaciously.
Sometimes, it caused problems with those who thought that since I am single, I should want to not only work a 40 hour week of ministry, but I also should teach on Sundays, help with Youth and be on multiple committees and so on.
Pretty soon my work/ministry week involved 50 to 55 hours a week.
I knew I could not go at that pace, so I set boundaries and caught some flak for it.
“Why don’t you want to do it, it’s ministry?”
My reply, “Everything I do here is ministry!”
Beloved, Jesus went at the pace His Papa set for Him.
There are several accounts of Him withdrawing from people to refuel by being with Papa.
People can be draining when they don’t know how to look to Papa for life.
Instead, they look to those ministering to them for life.
That only sucks the life out of the minister.
So, those of you in ministry:
It’s okay to say, ‘No’ to more ministry!
If you’re feeling fried, it means you need a break from people and get away for a vacation and/or time to recharge with Papa.
It also means you might just need to teach them how to go to Papa instead of to you.
Also, ask Papa to show you the pace He wants for you and stick to it!
He is our strength and only through Him can we run with endurance and finish well!