Tired of Caring?
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
Galatians 6:9 (MSG)
Compassion fatigue is a term used for those who grow weary in caring for others. Recently a celebrity allegedly backed out of a relationship because she claimed she was tired of looking after everyone. It sounds understandable.
When Paul wrote to the Galatians he was well aware of how a life of caring could take its toll on people. Some of his dear friends had got sick while doing the gospel work, and Paul himself had been under a lot of strain.
Jesus and his disciples were also often exhausted. Mark 6:30-34 records an example: “The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, ‘Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.’ For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves. Someone saw them going and the word got around. From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work…” They continued all day with the crowds, Mark continues, until the disciples “thought this had gone on long enough” (verse 35). Jesus, however, had another idea–it was then that the 5000 were fed! Out of their exhaustion came an abundance of caring.
Of course we need to look after ourselves and be sensible about how we load and sometimes overload our lives. We need to rest and re-charge our batteries, so to speak. The door of Christian compassion, however, never closes. It’s always open.
Let’s follow Paul’s words. Whether weary or not, let’s take the opportunity to care whenever we can.
Father, with the help of your Spirit, help me to care for others even when I don’t feel like it. When I am weary, let Christ’s love for others flow through me. In His name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.