Dealing with Spiritual Burnout

Dealing with Spiritual Burnout
November 19, 2017
Passage: Galatians 6:9-10
Service Type:

Do God's faithful children ever become burned out, or tired and weary, with well doing. Of course, the answer to that is yes. I say that because Paul addresses this very issue in Galatians 6:9,10.

He says basically, let us not lose heart in doing good. Because when you lose heart, you give up. You give in, get tired of it all, and you quit. It's called compassion fatigue. It's well-doers burn out. It's something that can affect each and every person.

It's easy to lose heart sometimes. But, we've got to have the ability to, get back up on the horse, and keep going.

It happens sometimes when dedicated disciples of Jesus wakes up one day and is just tired. Burnout is a reaction to the stresses of life.

What is the Definition of Burnout

It's often talked about with regards to the workplace. Burnout occurs when highly committed people lose interest and motivation. It will occur with hardworking people who become psychologically and physically exhausted.


  • A feeling of a lack of control over commitment
  • An incorrect belief that you are accomplishing less
  • The loss of sense of purpose and energy

One of the causes is that you find it difficult to say "no" to additional commitments or responsibilities. Another thing suggested is that you've been under intense and sustained pressure for a period of time. Your standards makes it difficult to delegate tasks to an assistant. Perhaps, you've been trying to do too much for too long. Or, give too much for too long.

The Solution for this Type of Burnout

  • Reevaluate goals and prioritize them
  • Evaluate the demands placed on you and see how they fit with your goals
  • Identify your ability to comfortably meet these demands
  • If over involved, reduce the commitments that are excessive
  • If people demand too much emotional energy, become less-sympathetic, but involve other people in the role of helping.

Sometimes, we have to step back and not become too emotionally involved in the problems of others. Get support of friends and family to reduce stress. Get plenty of sleep. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy diet.

While these are from the standpoint of the business world, but there are some things, we can take some advice and apply it to the spiritual burnout as well.

What is Spiritual Burnout?

Weary in well-doing describes spiritual burnout. Attending services, living a godly life, helping others, working in the church can all lead to tiresome, weary feelings. And, when one faces spiritual burnout they often leave the church.

Who can become spiritually burned out?

  • preachers
  • elders
  • deacons
  • members
  • Bible class teachers

What Causes Spiritual Burnout?

Some say they are bearing too much of the load.

  • 1 Kings 19

People begin to think they are bearing too much of the load, that others aren't doing as much, or helping enough. Sometimes, people think they've carried the load for a long time, they've done their work, and it's time for the younger generation to step up and do more.

Sometimes, it can come from criticism. Critics will often find something to complain about. When we do good for others, someone will always find something to be critical about. If we think their criticism becomes unjust, we might want to give up and quit.

A lack of nourishment can lead to burnout. Paul addressed this in 2 Thessalonians 3:13. He told them to be not weary in well-doing.

Some say they get burned out because of lack of results. Sometimes, it can be hard to see results of the work with which we labor.

  • 1 Corinthians 1

Sometimes the planter doesn't see the increase. So they don't see the end result of their work and become discouraged and burned out.

What is the Solution for Spiritual Burnout?

Burnout Because of Spiritual Dissatisfaction

We need to remember that others may spend their life on the pleasures of this earth, but we need to remember we are laying up for ourselves treasure in Heaven.

  • Matthew 6:19-20

Burnout Because of Spiritual, and Physical Exhaustion

It's possible we are spending too much time on the work, and we need rest.

  • Mark 6:31

Many times things look a lot different after a good night's rest, or a vacation.

No matter how hard we work, the work is small compared to the great blessings we will receive. Paul worked a great work. He worked hard, he was tireless, on the road, in difficult conditions, yet, he was one who did not faint.

Burnout Because We Feel We've Done Enough

It is not true that any of us can retire to say "I've done enough." It's true that younger Christians need to be given work to do. Yet, we can never do enough to retire and quit, no matter how much work we've already done.

We do not earn our salvation.

  • Ephesians 2:9

We can never retire. We can't reach a point where we have the attitude that we've done enough.

Burned Out Because of Under Appreciation

We should give gratitude to others because of what they are doing. We should thank the elders, deacons, preachers, Bible class teachers, and others for the work they are doing.

  • Romans 13:7
  • Romans 2:10
  • 1 Peter 2:17

There are those who feel unappreciated. We should give appreciation to those doing the work of the Lord. But, God knows. Our reward comes in eternity.

Burned out Because of Criticism

We are working to please God, and not our fellow man. If we are working to please God then it doesn't matter what men say.

  • Galatians 1:10
  • Hebrews 6:10

Even in criticism we need to recognize we are not in the business of pleasing men.

The work of the church and the duty of Christians is to serve God in all things.

Burned Out Because of Lack of Nourishment

We cannot neglect our own personal spiritual life. We often get caught up in studying for others and fail to study for our own nourishment. We need to remember that we need to feed our own souls.

  • 1 Timothy 5:18

We've got to study, we have to keep our hearts and minds in the word of God.

Burned Out Because of Drudgery

All members and all work is important

  • 1 Corinthians 12:13-41

This talks about how the body is many, and all parts need to work in order for the body to function properly. That more excellent way is everyone does the work that they can do.

Burned Out Because of Lack of Results

We may not get rewards we can see and handle. And, we may not see the results when we expect them.

  • Galatians 6:9

Reaping comes after time for growth and maturity.

The Ultimate Solution for Burnout

Long-suffering is the solution. It is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Long-suffering is to not lose heart, but to be patient. It is to be slow to anger and slow to punishment. Patience is a synonym for long-suffering.

  • Colossians 1:10,11

Let us not grow weary in doing good. We will gain eternal life if we faint not, if we are faithful to the end.

  • Matthew 10:22
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58
  • Hebrews 12:3

We must learn to manage stress in our life. The Christian life is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it's not easy at all. Yet, let us not grow weary in well-doing.

If we are going to do anything Spiritually speaking we must first be a child of God. We must believe that Jesus is the son of God, repent of our sins, confess that He is the Son of God, and be baptized to have our sins washed away. Then, you can live a faithful life unto eternal life, being faithful and not growing weary in well-doing.

- Jack McNiel, Evangelist

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