Burnout - The Fruit of Dysfunction

I have a friend* who is hitting burnout. Her body, her mind, and her will are so very tired. She runs fast emotionally and physically, pushing herself to the limits to please people, fix things and keep her life from falling apart.  In the past, it worked for her, enough victories for her to keep going, keep striving, keep doing.  But lately, it isn’t working.  Her life is falling apart so she tries harder. She is on a hamster wheel and can’t get off because what once worked, now doesn’t.

We do what we do, even if it’s dysfunctional because, in some measure it works, it bears fruit in our lives. In Mark 11, Jesus is hungry, He goes to a fig tree to find fruit and there isn’t any. In verse 14, Jesus curses the fig tree, “No one will ever eat fruit from your again!”.  Later the disciples see the fig tree and it is all shriveled up.  They are amazed that His one command does this.

Jesus sees our dysfunction, our ways of getting things from life that don’t come from Him.  He sees that our hamster wheel of a life is going to wear us out, therefore, He speaks to that area and says, “You will never have fruit again”. He in love, stops the dysfunction from having any reward (fruit) anymore.

He stops the cycle of dysfunction of desiring an outcome, attempting to get it, getting some fruit but not enough, exhaustion, and burnout. This causes us to reassess what is our source.  It makes us wake up to what isn’t working and we have to begin new patterns to rebuild.  I have been there and have counseled many who have been there. It’s not an easy process.

In effect, there are areas we have built our life on sand and not the rock of Him.  It’s hard to hear, but if your house (life) is sliding into the sea, you have to look at the foundation you built.  Was it on your relationship with HIm or on your own striving?

If you look at your life and see something is wrong, tired, or burned out, and your life is unmanageable, there is a solution.  Turn to Jesus, and begin spending 15 minutes a day with Him.  Talk out loud to Him, turn over every area of your life to Him, and learn to only do what He is leading you to do.  Begin rebuilding your life on His foundation.  It may be a slow rebuild for a while but it will then be solid.  

Scripture: Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:14-26

Prayer: “Jesus what dysfunction are you cursing to “bear no more fruit” in my life? What new vine, are you blessing with fruitfulness in me?”

3 Steps to Get off the Hamster Wheel of Burnout (before you fall off)
1. Recognize the reason you are running on the wheel by asking the following:
"What do I fear is or isn't going to happen if I stop?'
"What outcome am I desiring that I feel like I have to make happen?"
2. Bring Jesus onto the wheel by asking the following:
"Jesus, what do you say about this fear?"
"Jesus, what do you say about my desired outcome?"
3. Write down, repeat, and meditate (this means to chew on) what Jesus said to you.
Be willing to make His thoughts, your thoughts and to push them higher by meditating on them.

Interested in more? Pastor Freda does coaching/counseling appointments! If interested reach out to her through our website "Contact" page for more information.

*Is this not a specific friend, but many "friends" over the years. 


Aaron K Neuberger - July 13th, 2023 at 1:26pm

Amen! :)

Herb Thomas - July 14th, 2023 at 2:40am

The song by Casting Crowns "SLOW FADE", is the fruit if dysfunction, a thought.