INTRODUCTION TO “BURNOUT” Information that deals with: • Biblical validation • Essentials for success • Dangers • Who’s at risk • Effects • Symptoms • Tips for avoiding • Blessings
BIBLICAL SUPPORT FOR CARE GIVING The First and Second Great Commandments Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:37- 40
Essentials for Successful Care Giving • Simon Peter’s version of the “Fruit of the Spirit” found in 2 Peter 1:3-9 includes: • Diligence • Gk. an eagerness to do one’s best • Moral excellence • Prompted by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling
Essentials for Successful Care Giving (cont.) • Knowledge • Gk. intelligent comprehension • Self-control • Gk. keeping desire and passion under control • Perseverance • Gk. remaining behind when others do not
Essentials for Successful Care Giving (cont.) • Godliness • Gk. in conversation and conduct • Brotherly kindness • Gk.φιλαδελφια or “philanthropy” • Love • Gk.αγαπηνwillful self-denial
The Great Danger for Care Givers BURNOUT: “The type of stress and emotional fatigue, frustration, and exhaustion that occurs when a series of or combination of events in a relationship, mission, way of life, or job fail to produce the expected results.” Myron Rush Burnout – Practical Help for Lives Out of Balance
Who is at Risk for Burnout? • People helpers who at the same time can be: High achievers • Case in point: Moses (Num. 20:8-11)
Potential Effects of Burnout • Often unseen recipients: • will suffer for one person’s burnout • Care givers: • no longer able to deal with people or daily challenges/problems • relationship with God suffers
Burnout breeds a “Give up on life” attitude known as the Elijah Syndrome. See 1 Kings 19:4.
Symptoms of Burnout • Loss of purpose • Jonah 4:3, 8 • Low self-image • Feelings that generate loneliness and isolation • 1 Kings 18: 13, 19, 22; 19:10, 14, 18 Self-pity anger resentment bitterness hopelessness burned up burned out walk out
Tips for Avoiding Burnout • You are called, not driven, to ministry. “It is God Who is at work in and [through] you …” (Phil. 2:13). You must not work for God as though apart from Him! • Competition can be a killer/quencher. Temperament and personality traits can prove overwhelming.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Learn to pace yourself. For instance, do not allow the telephone (cell phone) to pace, direct, guide, or control you. Keep electronic devices under your control.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Share the work load with other capable people. Life is not about gaining all the recognition, approval, or control we can accumulate. Surround yourself with people (surrogate family) who are qualified and to whom you can delegate that will cheerlead for you as you take the right steps in sharing the work load God has called you to do. Be sure to choose people who can be relied upon to do what you cannot or should not be doing.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Do not allow yourself to get drawn into excessive contact with other people’s problems. Put space between intimate contacts. “Do not become weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:1-5, 9), which is always a possibility in serving the needy public. Don’t be manipulated by false guilt!
“Major on the majors; dodge the minors.” Life is about the allocation of assets: time, space, people, and wealth.You do not want to waste your limited assets.
And, are you aware that continuous unrealistic expectationsthat are not met will deplete the high level of motivation you need for doing your duty? Proverbs 19:2 suggests that our zeal needs to be accompanied by knowledge.
Tips for avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Break up routines with creativity in ministry. Routines sap the challenge and excitement out of our lives. “Apathy is a very close cousin to burnout.” Be flexible or your inflexibility will eventually break you. • Vary locations, times, settings, approaches, and combinations • Vary vacations and vocations
Jesus stayed in control of His work and did not let His work control Him. Mark 1:29-39; 6:30-32 He heals, He hides He prays, and He preempts.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Know what God’s priorities are for your life and ministry and tenaciously protect and preserve them. People will try to fit you into their priority scheme. They are in need, not you, yet): So rigidly, or with near rigidity, maintain your God ordained priorities.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout (cont.) • Be aware that religious activity masking as care giving is not the same as spiritually mature expressions of care giving that flow from the “… fruit of the Spirit …” (Gal. 5:22). We can be religious and at the same time be spiritually malnourished if we are not careful. And, that is not good for anybody.
Eat right. Sleep right. Exercise right (1 Ki. 18:46 / Mt. Carmel to the entrance of Jezreel was 25 mi.!). Watch right (visuals). Listen right (audios). Tips for Avoiding Burnout, cont.Keep your body in good physical condition, as much as lies in your power. Physiology affects psychology and ultimately spirituality. • Read right. • Pray right. • Meditate right. • Fellowship right. • Hobby right, especially if it pays! • And, doctor right.
Tips for Avoiding Burnout, cont. Rejection should not be taken personally. If you take too many rejections personally you will develop negative attitudes toward people, work, and finally yourself. Understand that people are almost always rejecting our products or services, not ourselves. “Celebrate often …” Rev. Leslie B. Flynn How to Survive in the Ministry
Blessings of Burnout • Thanking God for when you were not • Stopping to evaluate life • Making a fresh start • Improving your productivity • Cleaning up your self-image • Appreciating God’s love and patience with us • Learning hard lessons that will help others • Principle found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Finally • “Run don’t rush!” See Hebrews 12:1-3. • Run to win / run with an aim (Gk. divine revelation) in mind. • See 1 Corinthians 9:24-26a.
Suggested Reading • Burn-out • Myron Rush • 1989 • ISBN: 0-896-93242-7 • Burn-out or “The High Cost of High Achievement” • Herbert J. Freudenberger • 1980 • ISBN: 0-385-15664-2