Keep loving others by recharging emotionally
by Rick Warren
"So many people were coming and going Jesus said to them `Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)
"Jesus was the most intensive, ministry-oriented person that ever lived, but He enjoyed life. When you're giving to others, it costs and exhausts. You need play time. "
When your emotional tank is empty you're unable to love others unselfishly. You just give up. You may have a sense of being overwhelmed and feeling inadequate. You may even get angry at the ones you love the most. You may try to avoid people or view them as problems. You have no desire to love. You dream of getting away.
David had this problem. He said, "If I had the wings of a dove, I'd fly away and find rest." (Psalm 55:6 GW)
To love others you have to keep your emotional tank full because when it gets low, it's going to make a difference in your relationships.
The Bible has three suggestions for recharging emotionally:
Solitude -- You need time alone. Today's verse teaches us Jesus frequently withdrew from crowds when he needed to recharge himself emotionally. In this case there was so much hustle and bustle, Jesus says to the disciples, "Come apart for a while." (KJV) You either come apart or you will come apart. You need times of solitude.
Your emotions are like a battery. If you plug one light bulb into a battery, it will last for a fairly long time. If you plug 100 lights in, then it's going to drain real quick. You can't give love if your battery is drained.
Recreation -- There are certain things that recreate energy in your life and enthusiasm for life. For you it may be hobbies, a sport, a craft, or games. Experiment and find out what it is that recharges you emotionally, then make time for it.
One of my favorite verses is, "Jesus came enjoying life." (Matthew 11:19 Phillips) He was the most intensive, ministry-oriented person that ever lived, but he enjoyed life. When you're giving to others, it costs and exhausts. You need play time.
Laughter. "Being cheerful keeps you healthy." (Proverbs 17:22 TEV) There are studies that prove that when you laugh it increases the number of T-cells - and that raises your immunity level. It produces endorphins in your brain. Humor has beneficial effects.
God has given us the gift of laughter and we need to learn how to laugh. I've talked to couples who were in serious conflict in marriage. They say, "Someday we'll look back at this and laugh." I say, "Why wait? Why not just laugh at it right now?"
Laughter is a load lightener, an emotional recharger and a love rebuilder.