It’s not SPIRITUAL to burn-out…..

by Rod Smith

In not-for-profit circles I quite regularly hear about burnout. It’s often framed as some spiritual trophy.

It’s admired rather than seen for what it is: a failure to recognize and function within one’s callings and gifting.

“She’s got such a servant-heart she burned out,” a man will sigh about his wife.

“Our pastor is such a loving man. He carries the world on his shoulders,” which will inevitably be followed by a woeful tale of indiscretion and “burnout”.

Burnout results when you fail to mind your own business – and get caught up in someone else’s.

It is a symptom of over-functioning.

It means you are doing things that do not fit within your role, calling, skill-set, or gifting.

It is not taking on too much. It’s taking on what is not yours to take on.

There’s nothing “spiritual” about over-committing, about taking on impossible challenges.

Trying to “fix” others, convince the convinced, reason with the unreasonable, are just a few “impossible challenges”.

Hard work doesn’t lead to burn out. The “wrong” work does. If you carefully optimize your skills, do what you love to do, mind your own business, hard work will energize and sustain you.

Mess with other people’s jobs, roles, and functioning you will crash before you know it.

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