The Surefire Way to Avoid Burnout

Would you define your life as “emotionally demanding?”

If you have been alive more than ten minutes, most likely you would!


That’s just a feature of being a member of the human race here on planet earth… it’s emotionally demanding.

But, living an emotionally demanding life puts you at risk for burnout.

Researchers define burnout as: “A state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.”

Life is emotionally demanding, isn’t it? And, it should be.

Our hearts should be involved completely in relationships, work, and what God has called us to do.

Our feelings get torn and pulled by the needs we encounter and the sheer sorrow people deal with. We should be emotionally involved and, yet, can we protect ourselves from burning out?

Living a demanding life puts you at risk for burnout. Jesus gives us 2 steps to take to avoid burnout.
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Is burnout inevitable?

Jesus gives us two distinct ways to stay fully engaged in our emotionally demanding lives without burning out.


Jesus gives the first instruction to preventing burnout… take rest.

Jesus’ disciples got back from preaching and healing and were buzzing with excitement about what God had done through them. After reporting to Jesus all the good news, Jesus said: “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Jesus told His followers to leave the crowds, seclude themselves, and rest.

How often do you truly rest? Do you let yourself take a break, get alone, and simply rest?

You have limits physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Resting will allow you to operate at your best within those limits. Jesus thought it was important for His first century followers to rest and it is no less important today.

You have limits. Resting will allow you to operate at your best within those limits.
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So, “They went away in the boat to a secluded place.”(Mark 6:32) But, the crowds saw them and recognized them. The people “ran there together on foot from all the cities and got there ahead of them.” (Mark 6:34) So much for rest, huh?

I bet you know how they must have felt.

We may try to take rest, but life happens!

Demands don’t cease just because you’re tired. Just when a mom gets alone — even if she is hiding in the closet — the kids are suddenly interested in getting her full attention!

So, do we just say “yes” to rest and “no” to all the rest?!

No, we trust God’s provision — He will make a way for you to rest or He will make a way for you to function when you feel empty.

Trust God’s provision-He will make a way for you to rest or a way for you to function when you feel empty.
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And, that is the second way to prevent burn out… operate on empty.


The worn out disciples got out of the boat and were with Jesus in ministry. As the day grew late, the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowd away to eat. But, Jesus said something radical. “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37) Huh? These guys were bone tired and they hadn’t brought lunch. Jesus asked them: “How many loaves do you have, go look.” (Mark 6:38)

When Jesus asked His disciples to give the crowd lunch, He was asking them to give something they did not have. He was asking them to do something beyond their own ability. In essence, Jesus gave the disciples a chance to acknowledge their own lack, their own inability to truly meet needs.

And, that’s a merciful way God protects us from burning out.

Taking rest protects us physically and emotionally from burnout, but acknowledging our own emptiness protects us from mental and spiritual burnout.

We each need to honestly assess what we have to give.

Is it really enough to feed 5,000? Of course not. No matter how talented, how resourceful, how industrious you are… no matter how much energy or time you have, you don’t have enough.

Compared to Jesus, your bounty is lack. If you and I attempt giving in this life without acknowledging our deep need, we will be so burnt out that we will be operating on fumes or the dying embers of past success.

When the disciples did inventory and found they only had five loaves and two fish, they gave it to Jesus. He blessed it, and it was sufficient. (Mark 6:41, 42)

The same is true for you and me.

Give what you have to Jesus and He will make it enough for you and others.

Give what you have to Jesus and He will make it enough for you and others.
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My friend, if you need rest, ask God to provide you the wisdom and time to take it. If you are assuming your ability is enough, ask God to show you your own emptiness so you can give to Him what little you really have and watch Him turn it into enough.

Girl, God’s got this for you! He will give you what you need.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

Question: Do you take the time to rest? In what areas of your life, do you acknowledge your own emptiness?


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