by Pastor Mark Jordan


“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” (Romans 12:11-13, MSG)
This week we are going to explore the nature of burnout. There was a time when people were dubious as to whether or not burnout was real, or if someone just needed to take a couple days off. Someone who experiences burnout is in a condition that requires more than just an extra day or two away from everyday responsibilities, because burnout — if left unchecked — can lead to anxiety disorders and depression, which causes other significant health problems.

Instances of burnout seem to be on the rise as demands on our time and energy rise. Technology is a significant factor, because we seem to always be “plugged in,” and find it hard to break away from the outside world to care for our inner world (this includes family and others closest to us). People expect instant responses from phone calls, emails, text messages, and other social media alerts, which is true in personal and professional relationships. This leads to a hyper vigilance where the dings of our devices create urges within us to respond, seemingly making those on the other side of our screens more important than those sitting across from us. And when this comes in the nature of your work, the motivation to respond increases, invading your private time essential for rest and rejuvenation from everyday demands.

There are three components of burnout I want to share. If you think you are in a condition of burnout, see if you are personally experiencing one of these three components:

  1. Exhaustion: composed of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue
  2. Cynicism: feeling like no matter what you try, it isn’t good enough
  3. Loss of self esteem: feeling incompetent and inadequate so no matter what you try, you aren’t good enough
Tomorrow we will look at the five stages of burnout to help better understand how it happens, and set us up for help in dealing with the causes and effects.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for timeless wisdom that helps me know how I am experiencing life. I know you want to help me in my good days and bad, so please show me how I can stay fueled and aflame for you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.