Topic: Burn On, Not Out [November 24, 2016]
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people). — Ephesians 5:15
One of the reasons I previously found myself stressed-out, burned-out, and sick was from not knowing how to say “no.” I wanted to take every ministry opportunity that came my way, but it just was not possible. We must all learn to let God’s Spirit, and not other people’s desires (or our own), lead us.
Frequently people tell me that God has shown them that I am supposed to come to their churches or conferences and be their speaker. There was a time when that would pressure me because I thought, If I say no, then I am, in reality, saying they didn’t hear from God.
But other people cannot hear from God for us. We are individuals and have the right to hear from God ourselves. I started realizing that no matter what others thought they had heard, I could not do the engagement with peace if I had not heard from God about it myself.
Are you saying “yes” with your mouth while your heart is screaming “no”? If so, you will eventually be stressed-out, burned-out, and possibly sick. We just cannot go on like that forever without ultimately breaking down under the strain.
No matter how many people you please, there will always be someone who will not be pleased. Learn that you can enjoy your life even if everyone does not think you are wonderful. Don’t be addicted to approval from people; if God approves, that is all that really matters.
Being committed is very good, but being overcommitted is very dangerous. Know your limits and don’t hesitate to say “no” if you know that you need to. God has assigned a lifespan to each of us, and although we don’t know exactly how long we have on earth, we should certainly desire to live out the fullness of our years. We want to burn on, not burn out. We should live with passion and zeal, not with exhaustion; we should be good examples to others.
Trust in Him: Are you committed, or overcommitted? No one else will stand before God and give an account of your life; only you will do that. Be prepared to be able to say to Him, “I trusted You and followed my heart to the best of my ability.”