Have you ever done so much that you ended up with burnout? Most women know exactly how doing too much can lead to a total state of exhaustion.
There are so many good things to do whether it be homeschooling, teaching a Sunday School class, helping at your child’s school, committees, carpooling, cleaning, organizing, and add to those, things we can do for others outside our family and the list would be endless.
Today we are taking a look at 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 and it got me to thinking about how we as women burnout so easily. The thing I want to help you guard against is burnout that leads to idleness because that can take you to the opposite extreme.
Why Burnout can Lead to Idleness
I can’t say “No!”
Most women can’t.
We keep adding another activity to our schedule until it is over-filled.
Are you volunteering to help in your community and at church, besides doing all you do for your family? There are seasons in a woman’s life that this will works well. But what if your kids are growing up?
It’s not that helping in the community or church are ‘bad’ things, just that you can over-commit and end up in a state of total burnout.
Have you ever ended up not even wanting to do the things you once loved?
You can end up tired and exhausted.
And bone-tired weary!
It can lead to sitting on the sofa for hours on social media because you became overwhelmed with too much well-doing and got sidetracked.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 Warns Against Idleness
When I first read this passage, I couldn’t think what this had to do with becoming weary.
As I meditated and thought about it, something clicked in my brain.
Did you read the passage?
Idleness must be contagious because 2Thessalonians 3:16 warns of the one who is disorderly or idle. The following verses talk about setting an example of being industrious and not expecting handouts or being busybodies (that’s gossiping).
Being overly tired from doing too much can absolutely lead to idleness but we want to stop and recharge before we get to that point.
Refuel On Sundays
The Bible says we are to work 6 days and then rest.
When I am tired, I work slower and slower.
My production and even my well-doing for others become less and less effective.
When I am tired, irritability and crankiness set in.
Ask me how I know!
Do you keep doing all the same things on Sundays? I don’t grocery shop or clean the house on Sundays but I am guilty of not slowing down enough.
If you don’t rest, you won’t feel refreshed on Monday morning!
Being tired is not a sin. Neither is fatigue.
The point where it might become sin in your life (you decide) is when you get yourself so exhausted from working, cleaning, organizing, and doing too much all week long until you are wearing out during the week because of overdoing it.
It is easy to start frittering away your time when you are exhausted. That can turn into Idleness.
When we are tired we can be tempted to think how there is no one to help us. We might stress over our to-do-list and get discouraged because we didn’t finish everything on it.
First deal with any sinful attitude associated with your burnout.
Self-pity never helps in getting you out of your of burnout issues.
When to Say No!
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
I think I already shared with you how hard it is for me to say no! That is usually the major reason when I end up with burnout and overwhelm.
If God has given you children to raise, this is not an area that you can suddenly say ‘No’ to. You will get tired and even exhausted in raising them. There will be endless laundry, cleaning, nursing, organizing, washing clothes, and so forth.
The same goes for when you work from home or outside your home. This is a commitment and not something you can just say ‘no’ to when the going gets bumpy.
What often happens with women is that we add too many ‘good’ things to the foundational responsibilities that we already have. Then your ability to care for your home and family or work at your job is jeopardized. You have less energy and even time to do those first responsibilities.
You might have felt pressured or guilted into accepting these well-doing tasks but you really need to pare them down to be manageable.
What if You Have No Responsibilities You Can Pare Down?
There was a time that I had 8 people in our family to care for. There was no way to pare down responsibilities. I was often beyond tired by the end of the day.
If you are unable to lessen your responsibilities, what can you do?
God doesn’t want us to grow weary in well-doing. He wants us to joyfully do what He has called us to do.
It is difficult at best to be joyful when your schedule is overloaded!
Here are a few suggestions that might help when your load is heavy and you are weary:
- Teach your kids to help with household chores!
- Rest on Sundays so you are renewed physically, emotionally and spiritually on Mondays!
- Pray that the Lord would strengthen you each and every day!
- Ask God to forgive you for bad attitudes you might have.
Remember that God doesn’t want you to overcommit and do too many ‘well-doing’ things for others. You are NOT saved by your works and you will definitely become weary of doing too much!
Are you weary in well-doing? How are you finding ways to avoid burnout?