Day Seven – Beware burn out

Today’s Scripture: Exodus 18:18-23

Burn-out is a term that is thrown around frequently. Sometimes it seems if a person hasn’t experienced burn-out, they’ve missed a key ingredient of good leadership. I humbly disagree. If what we are doing is in obedience to the Lord, He will never set us up for failure.

Early in my ministry, I did “crash and burn.” It was a horrible experience that I never want to repeat. Did it make me a better leader? Not really. Scarred maybe, but not necessarily better. It knocked the wind out of my sails and set me back. For months I was trepidatious and fearful, wondering when I’d hit the wall of burn-out again.

Looking back, I realize I had taken on way too much responsibility—most of it without the Lord’s direction. I thought I knew best about what I could and could not do. The more I did, the more important and valuable I felt. I forgot about asking God for direction. No wonder I burned out.

Jethro cautioned Moses that he would be headed for a crash if he didn’t use wisdom. “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” Then he explained how Moses should share the responsibility with capable, trustworthy men. “If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

Our minds, bodies, and emotions can handle only so much. When we assume more responsibility than God intended, we’re flirting with burn-out. If we follow the Lord’s lead, He will tell us what we should do and what we should delegate.

Then, everyone will go home satisfied. The mark of a successful leader.

  • Have you ever experienced burn-out? Looking back, what brought you to that point? What can you do so it doesn’t happen again?
  • How will your relationship with the Lord be different after this week’s quest?

Feel free to share your thoughts and insights.