Tuesday, August 03, 2010

toothpaste

I continue to reflect on MP Chris Carter's self-destruction on TV last week.

I am not surprised that he has requested two months off work for health reasons. I do not know what his health issues are - but I remember wondering at the time if this guy was in burn-out mode.

I hope Christian leaders, particularly pastors, were watching...

If the emotional tank is not replenished and the gauge closes in on 'empty', all kinds of things start to happen. Behaviour becomes irrational, for starters. But the thing I saw in Carter that I have seen in myself on occasion is that when the tank is empty, disappointment morphs into anger and sometimes even onto rage.

And here is the problem. Here is one reason why burn-out is so catastrophic. If that anger is not addressed, it causes people to say things they regret. Just a word or a phrase. And they can lose their job (like Carter) - because toothpaste cannot be put back into the tube. It just can't.

I hope Christian leaders, particularly pastors, were watching...

nice chatting

Paul

2 comments:

Mark Maffey said...

We all need the emotional replenishment and whilst there are any number of good books out there on the topic of burnout and we have a few in our home library I believe the key especially for Christian Men is to be able to build relationships with a few key prayer partners where they are able to share at a deeper level.

I think protestantism can learn from the catholic practice of confession, confession is good for the soul but again this needs to be done within a prayer partnership environment.

I think this is an area for someone to do a thesis "A biblical response to burnout in Christian Ministry"

Paul I pray that you and your Langham colleagues have good structures in place which ensure that burnout does not rear it's ugly head.

Paul said...

Thanks, Mark - as always, you are very kind-hearted in your comments.

I will always remember one of my early bouts with these issues and the guy I was seeing suggested that I invest more in "replenishing friendships". A good phrase. A wise phrase. A true phrase.

May it be so for you too...