Burn Bright or Burn Out!

By Pastor Tim Klassen

Have you ever done something because other people expected you to, and not because you genuinely believed you should do it? If so,
 join the club! We have all done it. What I want to encourage you with today is the simple truth that you ought to be free to live your life 
according to your convictions and priorities, and not the opinions of others. Moses got this word of encouragement from his father-in-law 
on the heels of having delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. His father-in-law Jethro, came to visit with his grandkids, and in the
 process he saw Moses being pulled in every direction, as he led the people of God. Exodus 18 records that the Israelites would line up 
from morning until evening waiting for Moses to give them counsel on their various issues and challenges. After observing Moses’ long 
day of responding to everyone else’s crisis, Jethro told Moses the honest truth: “what you are doing is not good” (Exodus 18:17).

Even though Moses’ intentions were good, what he was doing was not good because he was living by the priorities of others, rather than
 the priorities God had given him. He was being driven by the needs of others rather than living in response to his needs and his families 
needs. Leading others requires more than responding to the perceived needs of others, it requires leading by example. Moses’ long days
 spent serving the people was a recipe for burn out. Jethro advised Moses to raise up other trustworthy leaders who could help bear the 
burden of serving all the Israelites. After giving this advise, this was the promise Jethro gave, “If you do this, God will direct you, [and] you 
will be able to endure” (Exodus 18:23). 

There are far too many people today who are too burned out to burn bright in a world that desperately needs us to be at our best. 
Speaking to his followers, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world… [therefore] let your light shine before others, that they may see your 
good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 8:14-16). We ought to be shining bright in this dark world, and yet you cannot 
burn bright if you are burned out! Our problem is that we are so quick to orient our lives around whatever apparent crisis someone else is 
having, that we are not taking time for ourselves, for our families, and for much needed rest. Our fast-paced, productivity-minded culture
 keeps us running from one meeting to another; from one email to another; from one crisis to answer. What is the solution? We must 
refuse to bear our burdens alone. We must learn to develop trust in other capable people who can work alongside us; not just at work, but 
in our churches, our communities, and in our own homes. We must learn to structure our lives around our God-given convictions and 
priorities, and not the convictions and priorities of others. As we learn to do this, we will free ourselves up to let our lights shine brightly, so 
that others may glorify our Father in heaven.

May you burn bright for Jesus as you follow Him.


Read it in the St. Catharines Standard