“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a NIV).
You cannot love people the way God loves you without God’s power in your life, because human love runs out.
But if you feel that nothing seems to be worth the effort, life seems to be futile or purposeless, or you find yourself blaming God for your problems, these are warning signs of spiritual burnout. You cannot love well when you are spiritually burned out.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit”(Phillips). How do you stay spiritually fit so you can love people? By building habits into your life that keep you spiritually renewed.
Here are three habits to get you started:
A daily quiet time. “This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength” (2 Corinthians 4:16 Phillips). Outwardly our body suffers wear and tear, but inwardly we can be spiritually renewed every day by spending time alone with God.
I don’t know what could help your life more than to begin the habit of a daily time with God. Start out with just 10 minutes a day. Find a place where you can be by yourself: the car, your bedroom or living room, the backyard, or even your office. Then pick a book of the Bible, and read a chapter a day. Read it, think about what you’ve read, maybe write some things down. That’s a habit that will keep you spiritually renewed.
Small group. A Christian without a small group is an orphan. You need a small group! The Bible says, “Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13a NIV). You need to get together in a small group at least weekly where you can share needs and problems, pray for each other, and develop friendships.
Worship. Praise renews and rejuvenates. It builds up. Psalm 59:16 says, “I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” (NIV). You need the emotional release and recharging that comes from singing. Put on some Christian music, and sing along. Then, watch how God restores your soul!
Talk It Over
- Why is it hard to love others well when you are spiritually burned out?
- Make a plan right now for your quiet time: Where will you meet with God? What time of day? For how long? What will you read? What do you need besides your Bible?
- How might God want you to worship if you think you are not a good singer?