Rust-Out or Burn-Out – which is it?

man on stonesThis time of year can quickly go from being a wonderful, hope-filled, loving season to absolute madness in the space of a few days. Despite great planning and good intentions our calendars fill up with events, our nights of sleep become shorter and our carefree attitudes can evaporate in the mile long queue at the grocery store.

A few years ago, a very wise man told me of a phrase Christians like to use, “I’d rather burn-out for the Lord, than rust-out.”  But this wise man quickly added, ‘The Lord asks us to do neither of these things.’  He was right.  Nowhere in the bible do I read that we should work ourselves into a sick bed in the name of serving God or doing ‘good’ works.  Nor do I read that we should be so lazy that we ‘rust out’.

Christmas and New Year can be busy with very worthy events, many of them church related or volunteer focused.  Lots of good causes deserve our attention.  Many people want our energy and we readily give it to them, while trying to juggle all the ‘normal’ parts of life that we are responsible for.  Of course the added pressure of making our own family happy is loaded on top of everything else too.

So how do you balance it all?  How do you serve others, share the truth in the gospel but also make memories with your children and attend to your own needs without totally burning out?  Is there a middle ground between burning out and rusting out?  I hope so!

I think the secret is remembering the reason WHY we are doing what we are doing.  Ultimately, everything we do should be to glorify God.  So in spending time with our children, making memories, continuing family traditions and serving others, we need to keep that in mind.  Running yourself into a sick bed is not glorifying God.  Getting 5 hours of sleep and expecting to work at full capacity, is not glorifying God.  Neglecting your spouse so you can attend one more fundraising event, is not glorifying God.

You cannot be all things to all people.  So start with the people closest to you, and work out from there.  Your health, both physical and mental, together with your relationship with God, are the most important parts of your life and they deserve your attention before anything and anyone else.  Then your spouse, children and finally, everything else.

I am writing this as much for myself as for you!  Maybe blogging about will keep me more accountable.  How do you restore balance in your life when you feel you’ve lost perspective?  I’d love to hear from you via comments below!



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