Overcommitment and Fatigue: A Deadly Sin

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. 
–Isaiah 40:31 (RSV)

We live in a culture which has often fooled us into believing that more is better and busyness is a virtue. Far too many people in our world are spiritually, emotionally, and physically bankrupt because they are overcommitted and fatigued. The legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” The late-comedian Flip Wilson summed it up best for many of us when he said, “If I had my entire life to live over again, I doubt if I’d have the strength.”

I don’t believe that God wants us to be one step from a nervous breakdown, always on the edge of exhaustion. What’s the answer? There are no easy formulas for success, but there are two suggestions that I want you to think about today.

1. Cut back and do less. If this means making less money, cutting back on your social obligations, or even taking a night off from church activities, then do whatever it takes to not be so overcommitted and fatigued. A friend of mine once told me, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

2. Rest. Rest should be a nonnegotiable time in everyone’s life. Even God rested! Exodus 31:17 says, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed” (RSV). When we rest, we get a proper perspective on our life. When we rest, we can reflect on what has taken place in our life during the week. Does your life have control of you, or do you have control of your life? Rest and reflection will help you answer that important question.

1. What does it mean to “wait for the Lord,” as written in Isaiah 40:31? What does this verse tell us is the result of waiting for the Lord?

2. Today, take an evaluation of your fatigue and over commitment level. If you are spiritually, emotionally, or physically bankrupt, then it is time to cut back, do less, and rest. What is the next day you have scheduled to relax?

Luke 18:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1,16; Psalm 103:5; Hebrews 12:1-3

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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