From MAD CHURCH DISEASE: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic by Anne Jackson
Better to live on a corner of the root than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. –Proverbs 21:9
For some reason, this verse always makes me laugh. And whenever I get an attitude with Chris, I think of him camping out on our roof. It cracks me up every time. Maybe God’s intent for painting such a vivid picture was to help us loosen up when we begin to take ourselves too seriously.
Stress and burnout can cause us to project our pain and exhaustion on others--- usually on those closest to us. Some people respond to burnout by lashing out in anger – stomping around in a rage as their lives are falling apart.
Exhaustion can cause us to shut down and stop communication with our spouse or our friends. And by communicate, I mean both talking and listening. We no longer feel connected to those around us, and we begin to not care about nurturing those relationships God has placed in our lives.
After not communicating for a while, resentment can develop. Our spouses or friends may not feel comfortable opening up to us anymore, and bitterness can be formed and directed toward us, toward the church, and even toward God.
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus directs us to be “peacemakers” (in Greek, eirenopoiai, from eirene, which means “peace,” and poieo, which means “to do or to make”). It will take effort and intentionality on our part to bring balance back into our relationships. We are to make peace and strive for unity.