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We’re willing to pour out our blood, sweat, and tears in order to serve others. It’s confusing then why we still feel so depleted inside. But as it has been said, you can’t pour water out of an empty cup.

We know there’s much good to be done and that we have our part to play – accepting the many seasons of night work as simply part of our duty.

And most days this sense of duty fuels us to keep going.

But occasionally it feels like it takes more and more effort to do the work. Bitterness and resentment might also start to take root toward the very ones we’re called to serve.

The pressure to keep pouring ourselves out eventually depletes our soul, as their ever-demanding needs slowly suck us dry.

While it’s tempting to blame others for the demands they place on us, the responsibility is ours to manage the outputs of our soul.

It’s our responsibility to care for the needs of our heart long before we’re completely drained.

It’s true we cannot pour water out of an empty cup. But often we keep trying and only growing more frustrated as we do.

Bitterness, resentment, and eventual lashing out are often symptoms of soul depletion.

And this is not a condition in which we should simply try harder. We’re already overextended.

Now is the time to fill up.

As honorable as it is to serve others, we must not neglect our own hearts. In fact, we need regular rhythms of relational Sabbaths to maintain our inner vitality.

Running on empty burns us out and causes harm to the ones we’re called to serve as well.

Take the time to fill up so that you might pour from your abundance into others.

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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