Combating Work Burnout with God's Word

For the past year or so, many people have experienced burnout at their jobs. Whether you work in an office, at home, or in ministry, you’ve likely felt the pressure. Many people had to work longer hours and adjusted to working at home—and the combination of all these factors has led to a collective burnout.

Are You Experiencing Burnout? 

Burnout can lead to a variety of issues, including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual stress. And, naturally, all these factors can affect our relationship with our family and God, and cyclically affect our work life as well.

As Christians, how can we combat burnout so that we can live lives that glorify God? It all starts with understanding the biblical view of employment. With this perspective, we can move forward as children of God with a renewed view of work.

Before we dive in, I should say that this mindset of course does not only apply to people who “work” in the traditional sense; it also applies to any vocation. So, even if you do not work in an office or are unable to work for whatever reason, you can still apply the biblical concept of work to your life, whatever that looks like for you!

Work Because We are Called To

Christians are called to work. It’s as simple as that. In the Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam to work: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). God instituted this command before the Fall, so work is not a result of sin. Work is good, and work is part of the Christian life.

Work Hard as if for God

But Christians are not called to be lazy or forego our responsibilities at work. In fact, we are called to work hard at whatever we do, as if God were our supervisor, not our actual boss! Paul writes: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24). Working in this way motivates us to do more than the bare minimum, and to do our best at whatever we do.

Work for the Glory of God

Additionally, we work so that God’s glory can be displayed. Although the world might tell us it’s okay to play Minesweeper at your desk all day, the Bible presents a different perspective—working hard at whatever we do, so that God can be glorified. We are called to work differently: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). By working hard, we can showcase the glory of God and give all credit to Him.

Work, Then Rest

Lastly, God does not command us to work constantly. We are called to rest. Rest doesn’t have to happen on a traditional weekend, although it does for many people. Setting aside at least one day to not work is necessary for our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Even God rested after creating the world. “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:3). Resting allows us to reset our bodies and minds so that we can return to work, refreshed and ready to serve God again.

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Written by

Hannah Hansen

Hannah is a freelance writer and brand designer. She currently lives in Oceanside, California, where her husband serves as a pastor. When she’s not running along the coast, you’ll likely find her cooking new vegan recipes or browsing her local thrift store.

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