Posts tagged ‘spirituality’

June 20, 2012

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.

June 14, 2012

Are you “spiritual”?

by Rod Smith

How to measure spirituality

I hear people of different faiths and denominations proclaiming to “more spiritual” than others. Here’s a checklist list I hope is helpful.

A so-called “spiritual person”:

  1. Accepts and respects all people without prejudice. He or she does not allow creed, age, economic status, sexual orientation, or gender, or national heritage to shape his or her opinions or treatment of others.
  2. Forgives others for real or perceived grievances, yet puts in place necessary measures of protection for the future.
  3. Is good with money; understands money and how it works, and yet, at the same time, remains very generous.
  4. Repairs relationships where repair is possible but remains aware that not all relationships are forever and not all relationship breakdowns can or should be repaired.
  5. Is free of the manipulation, intimidation, and domination of others and expects others to be similarly free.
  6. Cleans up quickly – emotionally, psychologically, and in every other way.   
  7. Takes full responsibility for his or her life.
  8. Has no interest in power and its trappings, yet is invested in empowering others to live as powerfully as possible.
  9. Addresses conflicts and problems head-on and as efficiently as possible.
August 18, 2008

Ten ways to become “more” spiritual….

by Rod Smith

Ten ways to enhance your spirituality…

1. Write about your life in short, honest, vignettes.
2. Get over any accumulated grievances you might be harboring.
3. Forgive everyone, everything.
4. Design, and execute (anonymously) very specific acts of kindness toward those who least expect it from you – especially your enemies*.
5. Create a blueprint for your greater generosity and radical hospitality (embracing those who reject you).
6. Make a list of the people who have most inspired you then find and thank them.
7. Return to your childhood neighborhood even if the memories are painful and everything has changed.
8. Take a “street person” to lunch at an upscale restaurant.
9. Tell your family you love them.
10. Listen more than you talk.

* I’d be very surprised if you are living a very spiritual life at all if you have no enemies!