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For those of us in the business of serving people we know all to well the meaning of the word ‘burnout’. Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout is the culprit in the demise of many relationships from families to ministry to any other service related activity. It is , I believe, the reason many pastor families break up; the suicide rate is so high in the armed forces, and emergency personnel (police, fire, etc). Could it be a major contributing factor to substance abuse as well.


The Apostle Paul describes two types of people in Galatians six, those empowered by human emotions and those empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us two things (maybe more). One is the strength to do good when we are unappreciated and expectations exceed our ability to meet them. Secondly we live in the constant reminder that God will eventually reward us for our efforts.


Feel overwhelmed and under appreciated? Remember it’s not your strength or power, but God working through you. He’s never held us responsible for results, he only promises to reward our efforts in his time. Press on mighty warrior!


Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

A friend of mine I’ll call John tells the story of how he had befriended a person who was really struggling with life. John spent hours listening to his new friend tell of her pain, encouraged her when she was feeling down, called her when she was sick and rejoiced with her when things were going well. In the process of building this friendship John told her of the weaknesses he had in order to help her see that she wasn’t the only one that struggled.

One day John found out that the young lady he was helping was telling everyone she knew about his ‘weaknesses’. John was hurt, embarrassed and frustrated by the betrayal and told me he was ‘done helping people.’

As John was sharing his hurt with me I thought of the verse in Galatians where Paul tells us to ‘never grow weary in doing good.’ Each of us takes a risk when we reach out to those around us who are in need. We put ourselves in risk of being hurt ourselves. We put ourselves in danger of falling into sin.

Another risk we take in reaching out to other people is that our motives can be misunderstood. Try as we might to be honest and reach out to others, they may reject our attempts to help or even accuse us of meddling. It seems that those of us in ministry (not JUST pastors) are the most vulnerable to growing weary from helping others.

There always seems to be opposition to the best plans for helping others. It takes time away from our own lives, people are often ungrateful or demanding, some just want to take advantage of our generosity for their own selfish means. It’s no wonder we become disheartened. But Paul exhorts us not to give up doing good but to persevere in spite of how we are treated.

Sometimes there are people we come across who are never satisfied with what we do. We wear our hair wrong, wear the wrong clothes, go to the wrong church, like the wrong music…and the list goes on and on. There is much truth to the saying you can please some people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time. We can add to that the reality that there are some people we will never please ANY of the time.

The lesson we as Christ followers must realize is that our reward for doing good won’t necessarily come while we are on earth. It’s a hard lesson to learn but we may be totally unappreciated for what we do until we get to heaven. But don’t get tired. Don’t give up. God sees your efforts. He knows your heart. Even if people don’t understand, your Heavenly Father does understand.

When you feel unappreciated or taken advantage of, or when you can’t seem to please some people, do your deeds as though you were doing them for Jesus. He not only will appreciate you, He and the angels applaud your efforts!

PRAYER: Father, I’m tired of the people around me who never seem satisfied with my efforts. I’m tired of being taken advantage of and betrayed by those who say they are my friends. I’m appalled at the fact that many of the people who have hurt me the worst claim to be followers of you. I ask that you would heal me of the wounds others have placed on me when I’ve only tried to help them. Empower me to continue to work for the good of those around me for Your sake. I ask this in your Holy name, Amen.

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