Yesterday I posted about CBTD Syndrome. (Confused, Burdened, Tired or Depressed) I am suffering from it currently and I know I am not alone. From my experience here are the top 5 causes of this syndrome …
1. Prayer – when you pray for real people with real needs you become aware of more people in need. Also, as you pray you become burdened to see these people overcome whatever you are praying about. You become more passionate about praying. As you become consistent in prayer you become more passionate in your praying. As you become more passionate as you pray not only do you become more aware of needs, but people begin to seek you out asking for prayer. This is a wonderful and burdensome fact. If you do not learn to cast your cares onto Christ you will become overwhelmed and beaten down by the burdens. Prayer is great, and more prayer is awesome, but there is a price to be paid. I am learning that the price is well worth it and that I do not need to carry it all by myself.
2. Service – serving can lead to fatigue and sometimes to depression if you get your eyes off of the reason for your service. We are to serve others and do it as Christ did. That means having the “heart of a servant” as my friend Dave Engbrecht use to remind me over and over as we served together. My mentor and friend Dave, would say that phrase “heart of a servant” whenever we were doing things that someone else was supposed to have done. Evidently my attitude struggled during those times, hard to believe isn’t it? He would give a goofy smile and say that phrase. I didn’t like it when he did that,(I didn’t mind the goofy smile, it was the phrase that annoyed me) but I needed it and he was right. Service can wear you down and discourage you, unless you really are serving with the heart of a servant. The best way to evaluate if you have a servant’s heart is how you react when someone treats you like a servant. I am called to serve, so are you. We need to serve, but it can lead to CBTD if we are not careful.
3. Thinking like a Martyr – when you begin to think that you are the only one who cares, or the only one who is serving or the only one who is sacrificing you are sprinting toward CBTD. This is the opposite of the heart of a servant. Thinking like a martyr is not the same as being a martyr. Thinking like this often leads to losing sight of the big picture. It is feeling alone and confused about why you are doing what you are doing. This type of thinking also shows a confused mind, you begin to think it is about you instead of the one you are serving. This type of thinking will definitely lead to feelings of depression or anger.
4. Doing it alone – no matter what “it” is, if you are trying to do it all by yourself you are setting yourself up for CBTD. I know this one very well. I often try to do it alone. Sometimes my reasoning is that I don’t want to bother others. Sometimes it is because I am the pastor and pastors are supposed to be able to do everything, right? Sometimes it is because I like being able to say I did it all by myself. No matter the reason, doing it all alone rarely works and it will lead to feelings of fatigue, depression and confusion.
5. Not enough variety – maybe this one is only for me, but I believe it applies to many of you as well. If I get stuck in a tight routine for too long my CBTD really kicks into high gear. Some of this is just my personality, I am a “let’s try something different” kind of person. But also, if I don’t have some variety and if I dwell too long on a singular issue I become discouraged and confused. I need some variety. This variety can be as simple as getting up and walking around the church building or property. It might be taking a day and doing something completely different. When you emotionally stare at one thing for too long you begin to lose perspective. A loss of perspective will certainly push you toward CBTD.
What are some causes that you have seen or experienced?
Tomorrow I will address some ways to improve, or overcome, CBTD.
Here’s hoping that you see something different today. Here’s hoping that you realize you are not alone and that not only does what you are doing matter but it is making a difference.