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By On November 20th, 2015

RENEWAL Devotional: Avoid The Trap Of Burning Out

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Written by Lydia D’Ross, Ordained Minister and Outreach Chaplain for Renewal at Brookhaven Hospital    

Pastors sometimes stretch themselves way too thin, because they feel the need to answer every call, attend every funeral services, and go to every hospital visit.

This can be a trap that will lead to burnout.

Pastors feel it is their duty to fulfill everyone’s needs, when In actuality, it is the pastor’s role to delegate to other people. Jethro, the father in law to Moses, gave advice to him because he saw that, while Moses was doing was good, it was wearing him out. In Exodus 18 Jethro warns Moses about burnout.  “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. “

This message can be applied to all of us. We must be careful, and avoid the trap of doing so much that we burn ourselves out. Our body gives us signals that we must take care of ourselves.  Sometimes it can be easier to put yourself on the list if you realize that not taking care of yourself will make it impossible to care for others.  Signals like, lack of sleep, feeling tired all the time, and even depression could be alerting you to a problem of overdoing it.

So if Jethro needed to give his advice to Moses to delegate other leaders to do some of his tasks, then it might be good advice for us to follow as well.

Take the time to take care of yourself. Avoid traps by recognizing the signs, by listening to your body and think about ways to delegate some of your responsibilities. Trust in someone and train them. You will be very happy that you did, and your body will thank you for it.

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