”For me, the hardest word in the English language is no. I would like to say yes to everyone and everything, but obedience to Christ requires me at times to say no. Like the gardener pruning the vine, I must constantly trim away unnecessary activities if new life is to spring forth.” Dwight Carlson
Tiredness and fatigue are common problems in most societies. Many people are tired. You know you are fatigued when you are experiencing a lack of energy, a loss of a sense of well-being, weariness, an overall unpleasantness, no ambition, and a loss of interest. This does not sound good! Most of us, if we were to really admit it, are tired of being tired. Stress can produce tiredness and fatigue. Tiredness can be a real enemy because it can bring dissatisfaction, restlessness, irritability, a loss of joy, depression and so many other negative things. But God knows our energy capacity and never requires more than we are capable of achieving. We need to set appropriate limits and learn to say no. We also need to evaluate the emotional gauge in our life.
“I have now committed myself to installing an emotional gauge in the center of my dash-board and learning how to read it. I take responsibility to manage the emotional reservoir in my life.” Bill Hybels
When we are tired over a long period of time, we must look at the emotional area of our life. We may be emotionally fatigued and not even be aware it. If we want to walk in overall health, we must look at our emotional as well as our physical strength. It is important that we know what activities drain our emotional reservoir. These are tasks that sap us of energy in just a short time. We may be oblivious to the intense drain some activities are having on us emotionally.
It is important to look at three gauges on the dashboard of your life in order to be healthy. The first gauge is the spiritual area of your life. Ask yourself questions like, “How is my spiritual life?” “How is my quiet time?” “Am I praying?” If this area reads normal, then you know you are doing all right spiritually. The next gauge is the physical gauge. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I eating healthy?” “Am I exercising?” “Am I getting enough rest?” “Am I feeling well physically?” If that battery is “ok“, then you know you are doing all right physically.
If these two batteries seem to be “ok” but you know something is wrong, you may be drained emotionally. If you don’t feel like building relationships, if people drain you, or you want to quit ministry or change jobs, something may be wrong. You may need to recharge your emotional battery, but you must realize that this is a slow process that takes time. You may be asking the question, “How do you recharge when you are emotionally drained?” You recharge by doing something totally different than your work or ministry. You may want to go jogging, read a book, listen to music or play golf.
Other keys to emotional recharging is using your major spiritual gifts and learning to wait upon the Lord. This will breathe life back into you and energize you. Working hard in areas that you are not gifted in will drain you quickly. Don’t let people pull you away from using your primary gifts. Don’t let busyness take you away from waiting on the Lord for His emotional and physical recharging. When you minister with the gifts God put in you, you have a new passion for ministry.
“He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength (causing it to multiply and making it to abound). Even youths shall faint and be weary, and (selected) young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; But those who wait for the Lord (who expect, look for, and hope in Him) shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up (close to God) as eagles (mount up to the sun); they shall run and not be wary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired” (Isaiah 40:29-31, Amplified).
Each one of us needs to learn to live a healthy, balanced life. We can’t work 70 hours a week and last very long. We need to learn to be marathon runners. We must learn to monitor our spiritual, physical, and emotional gauges so that we can minister for a lifetime. Can you run at the pace you are presently living at and still be running 20 or 30 years from now? Take inventory and learn to live a balanced life. Once in a while my husband and I will spend a few days in the country, and it does us a lot of good. I love to work but I am learning to take time out. I encourage you to not neglect your emotional battery. If it is running low, take the necessary time to recharge. You want to finish the race healthy and well-balanced for God’s glory.
“Replenishing emotional strength takes time – usually more time than it took to drain. The best analogy I can offer is a car battery. If you sit in a parking lot and run all your car’s accessories – radio, headlight, heater, horn, rear defogger, power windows – you can probably sap the battery in about ten minutes. After that massive drain, suppose you then take the battery to a service station and say, ‘I’d like this battery charged. I’ll be back to pick it up in ten minutes.’ What would they tell you? ‘No, we’re going to put the battery on our overnight charger… A slow, consistent charge is the best way to bring a battery back to full power.’ Likewise, to properly recuperate from an emotionally draining activity takes time.” Bill Hybels
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