Burnt-out … worn-out… exhausted and weary? How come? Learn some words of wisdom from Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. See what he had to say of Moses’ work – from morning till night being judge and juror of thousands of cases brought before him.
17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.
Truth #1: The task is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone.
Application: In life, many things and many tasks are too heavy for one person to carry alone.. whether you’re a husband (you need your wife), a mother (you need your children and husband too), a pastor (you need your flock), a leader (you need your followers) to help you out. No superman complex.
19 Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20 then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do.
Truth #2: You need God. You go to God. You pass it on.
Application: We often think it works faster for us to do it ourselves than to have to teach them how to do it. Especially for a mother, I tend to just do it myself because it gets done when I want or need it done. I do not have patience to teach or to wait for them to get to it. But we need to teach and show the way – where to go, what to do.
21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22 Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.
Truth #3: Select able men who fear God, men of truth. Let them judge.
Application: Discern and let go. Delegation is an art. Assign according to abilities but let go. Even small children can be given task to do but learn to guide along the way. Let them do things for themselves to practice. But of course in the case of Moses, he still had to guide – make sure he taught them correctly. Give minor responsibilities to start with. Then lead them to greater ones as they learn more.
23 If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”
Truth #4: If you share the burden, and follow God still, then you will endure (go a long way for a long time). And these people will get their cases resolved.
Application: Share the burden, teach according to God’s rules, and avoid burnt-out. Consequences of sharing the burden are beneficial both for the one who shares and the ones who help – the leader endures and the followers are secure as well.
2Sannie Santiago and Ingrid Chang