When I think of courageous women of faith, I think of Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie and her family helped Jews escape the Nazis in The Netherlands and she later was imprisoned in a concentration camp.
How, then, could Corrie Ten Boom pen these now famous words: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength”?
As I thought about our theme on priorities, I realized that the solution to feeling overwhelmed and burnt out isn’t just figuring out what to prioritize. We also need to figure out what not to prioritize in our lives.
Women tend to be burden carriers. That makes us excellent friends, mothers, and prayer warriors, but that tendency also leaves us prone to carry burdens God doesn’t want us to carry. We prioritize things like worry when we’ve been called to live in freedom.
Here are three burdens we often carry that we must let go of in order to discover the priorities God has called us to:
Worry is a constant drain on our energy and emotions. It creeps into our mind, takes over our thoughts, and leaves us unable to focus on anything else. But the Bible tells us there is another way. In Psalm 68, David praises God who “daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” Corrie Ten Boom understood this. If God promises to save, why do we waste so much of our time worrying? Think how much time you’d have to focus on the priorities God has called you to if you stopped worrying so much!
Like worry, the fear of failure can paralyze us and prevent us from living the life God has called us to live. But failure is never final with God. In John 18, we see one of the biggest failure stories when Peter denied knowing Christ not once but three times. No failure is too big to be forgiven. Jesus died on the cross for our failures, so let go of the burden of failure.
Women tend to be guilt prone. We take responsibility for things that aren’t ours to take responsibility for. But guilt is a burden God does not ask us to carry, and doing so has physical, emotional and spiritual consequences. We’ve all felt that pit in our stomach over a word or action we feel guilty over. David, the same one who praised God for bearing his burdens, made some pretty big mistakes and was tempted to make even bigger ones that would have led to immense guilt. Instead, God intervened and prevented him from greater sin (1 Samuel 24-25). Jesus died on the cross to take all of our guilt away. Doesn’t that feel like a load off your shoulders?
What would happen if you stopped carrying the burdens of worry, failure and guilt and instead prioritized courage, boldness and freedom? Could you use some refreshment in your spiritual, personal or professional life? 4word is releasing the first ever year-long devotional for women in the workplace, Be Refreshed, on November 1. If the burdens of worry, guilt and fear are weighing you down, our prayer is that Be Refreshed will be a source of encouragement, growth and refreshment for you as you pursue the unique priorities and purpose God has for your life.
Pre-order your copy of Be Refreshed today at 4wordwomen.org/be-refreshed.