Summary: This series identifies areas in your life that need to be balanced. This is the 5th sermon in the series, Balanced Living.

Series: Balanced Living [#5]


1 Kings 19:1-15


As we continue in our study “Balanced Living”, we will look at being emotionally balanced. With today's high-pressure lifestyle, it's easy to run out of emotional energy. You can call it depression, burnout, etc… It's a warning light that something is out of balance in your life. We are going to look at Elijah right after he had just experienced a huge victory on Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 19:1-10

Elijah got depressed. He ran off to the other side of the mountain and hid under a tree, then later hid in a cave and said, "God, I'm so depressed I want You to kill me."

What causes that kind of burnout?

* Fear causes it.

* Resentment can cause burnout.

* Low self-esteem.

* Anger can cause burnout.

* Loneliness.

* Worry.

Elijah was an emotional wreck. He had fear, resentment, low self esteem, anger, loneliness and worry. Do you think that would cause depression? I think so.

How do people get themselves in such an emotional mess? The answer- Faulty thinking. The Bible says that our thinking controls our emotions, and our emotions control the way we act. The problem is, when we're at an emotional low, we typically make 4 common mistakes. In this study I want to give you 4 mistakes we make and then look at how God helped Elijah overcome his burnout. When we're emotionally drained, we tend to make these mistakes that only make matters worse.

A mistake that we make is…

1. Focusing on feelings rather than facts.

Look at what he says in verse 4. “He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said.” He is saying, I have wasted my life. I’m fed up. I’m done. I quit.” This is emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning says, "If I feel it, it must be so." I feel like a failure, therefore I am a failure. I don't feel close to God; then I must not be close to God. Stop doing that to yourself. Feelings lie.

A mistake that we make is…

2. Comparing ourselves to others.

When we are emotionally drained, we start comparing ourselves. This is what Elijah did. He said, “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” He starts comparing himself to his family tree. Do not compare. When you start comparing yourself to other people you are setting yourself up for depression. Everybody is different. Everybody is unique.

We motivate ourselves through criticism. We compare ourselves and then say, "I should be able to read my Bible like that person" or "I should be a better Christian like that person" or "I should witness like that person". The moment you start using the word "should" in your vocabulary, you are guaranteeing procrastination. It is human nature that we resist what is forced against us. How do you get motivated for those things you know that are important in life? You change them from, "I ought to” to “I want to.

A mistake that we make is…

3. Taking all the blame.

Elijah had been serving and following God. Look at what he said in verse 10. “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword.” In his depression, Elijah blames himself for failing to convert the entire nation of Israel. He takes this big load upon his shoulders and says, "It's all my fault. I've been working like crazy and yet nobody's changed." He took it personally. That's a heavy responsibility.

When you start trying to assume responsibility for other people, you're going to get depressed. You can be responsible to someone without being responsible for someone. We tend to blame ourselves and when we're feeling emotionally low, we tend to blame all of the world's problems on ourselves. This is what Elijah did. You can influence people; but you cannot control them- They have a free will.

A mistake that we make is…

4. Exaggerating the negative.

We blow it out of proportion. All of a sudden, everything is wrong. Elijah says, “I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” This guy is having a giant pity party. He was feeling sorry for himself when there was only 1 person after him- Jezebel. She had gotten jealous of Elijah's popularity and power in the nation; so, the Queen sent him a message to let him know that if he didn’t leave the country that she was going to have him killed. Elijah ran across the desert and hid in a cave and had a pity party. There was only 1 person against him; but he said that everybody was against him.

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