We continue with our sermon series on the book of Ephesians. Preaching from Nathan Gordon and our worship service will be led by David Casse.
Pre-COVID, burnout was becoming a must-know term among employers. In 2019, the term was officially added to the International Classification of Diseases, as an occupational phenomenon. The definition was later updated to directly reference ‘chronic workplace stress that is not successfully managed’ as the modern working world pushed teams to their limits. Google searches for ‘stress symptoms’ peaked throughout 2020 with COVID, isolation, job security, and home-schooling among other concerns putting workers under the microscope. Searches for these terms notably peaked in early October, coinciding with the second lockdown announcement in the UK. ‘Symptoms of stress’ was a ‘breakout’ search term of 2020, meaning the search term grew more than 5000% compared to the previous year. There was also a 50% increase in the search term ‘chronic stress symptoms’. – (UK Heading towards a burnout by Chris Parke)
The Christian, Stress & burnout?
God’s impartation of love, grace and his holy spirit equips believers to live a kingdom-focused life with a newfound hope, that nothing can separate us from the love of God. However, Christians are not exempt from struggles and setbacks in life, and through Ephesians chapter 4 Paul identifies areas of spiritual slack that could cause believers to become spiritually fatigued.
As we explore Paul’s list to the church in Ephesus of causes for spiritual lethargy and burnout, think about some of the areas that are causing you to feel empty and distanced from God?
- Worldly influence – v17
- Unhealthy thoughts – v18
- Alienating God through ignorance – v18
- Out of control sexual behaviour & Greed – v19
- Lying – v25
- Anger leading to Sin – v26
- A foothold to the Devil – v27
- Self-centred – v28
- Unwholesome words – v29
- Grieving the Holy Spirit – v30
- Bitterness, brawling, slander, and malice
Challenge – Are you feeling spiritually lethargic today? The great news is Jesus is willing and able to take all our burdens if we trust him wholeheartedly. Your issue may not be one of moral failure but maybe it’s another struggle that is no fault of your own that is causing you to feel drained spiritually and emotionally. Whatever is causing you to feel like you are running on empty, Jesus loves you and desires to have fellowship with you right in the midst of your pain.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
- Paul challenged the church in Ephesus to “put on the new man” which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Discuss the challenges of embracing the new life in the spirit versus the old way of life?
- What practical ways can you wage war against those old self habits?
- How can we have victory in this area? How can we ensure that the new self-wins the battle regularly? – read v22-23
- Discuss whether it is possible to be angry without sinning against God? – read v26
- Do you find it difficult to talk to a fellow Christian or friend when you are struggling with stress or emotionally drained? Why?
Sermon Title: Are you running on empty?
Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:17-32 NIV
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: David Casse