Watching souls become heavy with the burdens being born by a secular world offers a sorrowful view. The view is one of no hope because it simply shows the endless cycle of a people being captured by the next thing. Watching other Christians fall into the same trap is likewise, also a sorrowful view because for them there is a hope that transcends to whatever level of weariness one is trapped in. The disturbing prevalence of weariness as a description of life is enough to necessitate meaningful conversation.
Interestingly, weariness exposes the convictions of the heart. If you find weariness abounding in your life, two questions can offer an insightful analysis:
- What is causing my weariness?
- Why is it causing me to be weary?
Those two questions have the ability to reveal much about every individual.
The answer to the first question does not merely offer an assessment to the status of one’s life but demonstrates a conviction. “What” exposes the priority of the heart. If a certain task, worry, or circumstance is captivating enough to cause one to be worn down, it indicates that one’s time is dominated by it. Sometimes, the real answer needs to be considered more deeply. For example, it may be that a particular project at work is consuming one’s energy. However, the issue may go deeper and may not be the project itself, but the desire to keep one’s job because of the money associated with it, or the desire to please the people involved in order to receive their approval, or any number of things. If the root cause is not rightly diagnosed, when that project is complete, there is always something else willing to insert itself into life in order to consume the time. Where time is spent reveals what a person values, therefore, the root cause reveals whether or not one has rightly prioritized the things of this life.
The second question reveals where a person’s trust lies. Weariness if often caused because one is working beyond what he or she is capable of to the point of physical and spiritual fatigue. Usually, this signifies that a person is carrying the burden himself/herself trusting in his or her own ability. Absent of this a reliance on God’s truth is that his way relieves the burden of self-sufficiency (Matthew 11:30).
As a precursor to burnout, weariness is a worthwhile concern. Unfortunately, the consequences are severe if not dealt with. First, it makes a person unavailable to God. Second, it makes one unavailable to others. The two are not unrelated. To serve God, one must be willing to serve others. Through the Apostle Paul, God has called upon us to live for Him by serving for Him (cf. Romans 12:1, Mark 10:45; 1 Samuel 12:24). Yet, when weariness takes hold of us, it takes away our capacity to do that.
The solution to weariness then is simply (1) to seek God, and (2) to seek others. The Lord’s presence lightens the burden that any of us carrying by allowing us to be sustained by Him. Therefore, a simple prioritization of putting God before whatever it is that is motivating the weariness is the solution. Such prioritization indicates a commitment to hearing from God through his word, communicating to him through prayer, and allowing him to guide us through his Holy Spirit. The second aspect is to seek others. Christian living occurs in a community of fellow believers. God urges Christians to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Seeking others to help in the struggles of weariness is a way to encourage one another because it allows others to help and provides a methodology for accountability when a person begins pushing to far once again.
No doubt that there are periods in life when weariness is unavoidable. Events occur in our lives or those we are serving that require an immediate reaction, but those moments are few and far between. The majority of life’s moments are not the crises that we make them out to be. Overcoming weariness is a matter of simple prioritization by seeking God and seeking others.
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