Even the most loving and caring people can sometimes feel too tired to be good. Love is exhausting, said Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, and it takes a lot of effort to be really loving.
“Most people don’t understand that their physical condition has a strong impact on their relationships and ability to love,” Warren wrote on his website. “It takes physical energy to listen to people, to put their needs first. Have you ever tried to appear like you’re interested in your child when you’re dead tired? You’re not listening because it takes energy to listen.”
So what happens to relationships when Christians feel worn out? Warren said if they don’t take care about themselves, little issues might become big problems, and they risk becoming cranky, defensive, and even critical.
Personally, Warren said he feels thoroughly drained every Monday. His family already knows he is not to be disturbed until he takes his Monday nap. Only then does he get back to his normal, sensitive and compassionate self. “It’s not a spiritual problem. I’m just tired!” he said. “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is get some rest. It’s amazing how much better things look after a good night’s sleep!”
Aside from his nap, there are several other ways Warren physically recharges. He goes on a balanced diet, and chooses to eat fruits and vegetables over chips or cookies. Warren is mindful that his food intake will give him sustained energy to be able to carry out God’s ministry.
A balanced diet and regular exercise are both important, Warren said. “Our bodies were made for activity. In Bible times they didn’t have to exercise because they walked everywhere and did physical work. But today, in our sedentary culture, you really only have two choices: fatigue or fitness. If you choose fitness, it has to involve regular exercise,” he said.