You can’t pour from an empty vessel. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way over and over and over again. For as long as I can remember I’ve added more to my plate than I could possible handle. I love to pour into others. I want to do alll the things for alll the people allll the time. And Lord knows I’ve tried to make it happen. But instead of being able to pour into others and finding joy in that, I end up in a cycle of disappointment. I take on more than I could possibly do, and then find my self empty before my list is complete. But after years of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and feeling defeated, I’m learning.
Let me just say that the Lord is so patient. He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed and defeated. It sounds crazy that you would feel that way when trying to do good, but it’s the easiest way for the enemy to shut down Gods people. To make them weary in well doing. Satan doesn’t have to put a shiny sin in front of someone like me to shut me down. All he has to do is put the idea in my head that I “should” be able to do a lot more than I’m doing. That “one more thing” isn’t going to make that much of a difference. Well let me just tell you. The devil is a liar. Want to be miserable serving God real fast? Never say no to anything. It works 100% of the time.
You see self care when it comes to your spiritual life is vital. It doesn’t look like a day at the spa, a hot bath, or a shopping trip (I wish that’s all it took). It looks like prioritizing. It looks like being prayerful and wise about where you put your time and energy. Just because it is something good, doesn’t mean it is good for you. Now that doesn’t mean just neglecting your responsibilities, but it does mean making sure your vessel has enough in it to do the most important things.
Keep your relationship with Jesus in good working order. Read, pray, fast, minister.
Take care of your family and your home. That is your biggest priority aside from your relationship with Christ. If your home is in shambles, your vessel will be empty and you will not be effective outside the home.
Take care of your ministry. Whatever God has called you to do, no matter how big or small, nurture and cultivate that. Take great pride in being able to use your gifts for Him.
Be a good friend. Nurture your friendships. Love on, listen to, and encourage your friends.
Help others. You never have to worry about a need finding you. Someone who needs something will cross your path everyday. And if you’ve prioritized properly, you’ll be able to meet that need. You’ll have some overflow in your vessel and be able to go beyond your main priorities to meet their need.
Learn some self care today. Be prayerful, and learn to say no to things that drain your vessel before you can take care of your main priorities. It may not be no forever. It may be “no,not today”. It may be “no, not this week” or “no, maybe next time around”. It may hurt some feelings, or make people angry. But just remember, you aren’t doing anyone any good by running around on empty all the time. The only way you’ll ever be able to pour into others the way you need to, is by guarding your vessel, and sometimes that simply looks like saying NO.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”