The problem with pain – it’s selfish

By Dave Henning / November 22, 2018

“The problem with pain is that when you slow down your pace, often you have only your pain to focus on.  And pain is selfish; even emotional pain demands your attention.”- Carey Nieuwhof

As Carey Nieuwhof continues Chapter 12 of Didn’t See It Coming, he discusses factors four through seven that help people recover from burnout.

 4.  Rest.  First, Carey notes, God designed us to spend about one-third of our life sleeping.  And, on top of that, we need to spend about one-seventh of our lives resting.  In addition, the author states, someone once said that 70 percent of discipleship is a good night’s sleep.  For we’re kindest when we’re most rested.

 5.  Find something to take your attention away from your pain.  How do you deal with the selfish nature of pain?  When pain demands your attention, distraction provides a powerful tool to get your mind off other things.  Eventually, not giving up on life helps you get back into life.

6.  Do what you can.  In the midst of burnout, it’s very easy to focus on what you can’t do.  Some days, that feels like everything.  Instead, Carey exhorts, focus on doing what you can do.  Put another way, keep moving and do what you can.  Thus, do what you can do today, even though you don’t feel like it.

7.  Don’t make any big decisions.  Pastor Nieuwhof points out that, in his recovery from burnout, one of the most important decisions he could make was not to make any decisions.  Period.  And if you need to make a big decision, lean into your circle of friends as well as people close to you.  With their help, you can prayerfully make a decision you won’t regret.

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you counter the selfish nature of pain?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The dark night of your soul”

About the author

Dave Henning

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