A Burnout Intervention

‘If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” (Exodus 18:23 NLT)

By Fr. Chris Lee OFR

Read Exodus 18
After reading Exodus 18, there are many who believe that Moses may have been a classic case of a “workaholic” headed toward “burnout”. That was until his father-in-law named Jethro showed up to take careful inventory of Moses’ workload. Although Moses was an excellent leader, he was failing to delegate his unreasonable, unmanageable workload. Jethro believed this behavior would eventually burn both Moses and Israel out.

It took courage, initiative, and love, but Jethro reached out and confronted Moses about the situation. Many have called this an “intervention” of love. Most of us believe that interventions are necessary at times to help our friends and loved ones who struggle with substance addiction, but what about other addictions such as working too much, or eating too much? These addictions can also cause tremendous harm. Truthfully speaking, most workaholics are the last to actually know they have a problem.

Has God called you to be a “Jethro” in someone’s life? Or, are you a “Moses”, overextending to the detriment of yourself and others? It is important for each of us to find balance in our lives, our work, and our activities. May God grant us each the grace, and mercy we need no matter whether we are a “Jethro or a Moses.”

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