Lighten your load and find freedom


Mental exhaustion is a warning you need to lighten your load.

It's more than a question of just busyness. We can get too busy, aggressively cut back on activities, then after a couple months find ourselves in the same predicament. Busyness, unfortunately, seems to have become a way of life.

What we need to do is eliminate those emotional burdens we should have jettisoned years ago. We all have problems we keep replaying, and that does us no good.

Answer these questions: Is this line of thinking constructive or destructive? Is this holding me back or moving me forward?

Let's look at some burdens that are weighing us down: grudges, fear, envy, and worry.

Grudges keep you facing backwards

The most exhausting load to carry is grudges. They're the only thing in our pack that actually gets heavier as we go along.

Grudges have a way of growing, fed by our hate, anger, and bitterness. Every time we pull out a grudge and re-examine it, it gets stronger instead of weaker.


The bizarre aspect of grudges is that they hurt us more than the person or thing we bear them against. They drain a lot of energy we could use to make our life better. If you want to be more nimble in life, you've got to lighten your load by letting grudges go.

It's hard to do, I know--much easier said than done, but the Holy Spirit is always eager to step in and heal your heart, if you'll ask him.

That's the secret to all of this, you know. When you give your grudges to God, trusting him for justice, you transfer a responsibility that was never yours in the first place. You'll feel a great sense of relief.

Fear keeps you from trying

Fear keeps us in a rut. Fear of failure, embarrassment, being uncomfortable—no matter what we dread, it's like dragging a heavy ball and chain.

Remarkably, Jesus says we can let go of fear. Get a concordance or use and look up "fear not" or "do not be afraid." Not only will you find Jesus repeating this command, but it also came from angels whenever they gave an intimidating assignment to people.


I don't give this advice lightly, because I was afraid for much of my life. Gradually, in very tiny steps, I tried stepping out in faith. I trusted God in small things, then in larger and larger. He proved reliable. Oh, I still fail sometimes, but God helps me get up again. Surprise! I didn't die, like I thought I would.

You can lighten your load too. Let God show you how your fears are holding you back. Then, with his grace, try a little bit every day. Don't scold yourself when you stumble, but do congratulate yourself when you make progress. If I can do it, you can too.

Envy keeps you looking in the wrong place

Envy is another weight you can do without. Envy is heavy because it distracts you from enjoying life's journey. Constantly being jealous is draining.

The antidote for envy is gratitude. When you're thankful to God for all you have and who you are, you stop being obsessed with others. We all have a tendency to take the good things in our life for granted


Compared to people in some poor countries, we're all rich. Having the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter truly is a blessing. To enjoy freedom to move about is a priceless gift.

You can lighten your load by thanking God for the talents and skills he has given you, even if they're undeveloped right now. Envy simply weighs too much. Let it go.

Worry keeps you from being optimistic


When Dale Carnegie published his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living in 1948, it became a bestseller and has sold more than 6 million copies since. Why? Because everyone worries, singles and married folks alike.

Carnegie's book will show you how to break this nasty habit--I highly recommend you buy it or check it out from your local library.

If you're a Christian, you know that despite your faith in God, you still worry sometimes. When things are going bad, it's hard not to.

But if you look back over your life, you'll see that most of the things you worried about never happened, but even when they did, they weren't as bad as you expected, or you eventually recovered from them. After all, you're still here today.

You may never be able to eliminate worry from your life altogether, but you can lighten your load by refusing to let it drive you into helpless anxiety. Willpower alone won't overcome it. This is the area where you'll need God's help the most.

Jesus tells us it's "needless" to worry. Why? Because God is our Protector. At age 73, I can look back and wish I had not worried so much. Take my advice now and you won't have to regret all your worrying when you look back.

Lighten your load: Trust God more

Two thousand years ago, the apostle Peter addressed this issue. His advice still applies today:


Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)

We cannot live the Christian life on our own, and God doesn't expect us to. It's scary trusting God. We don't want to give up control. But really, we're only fooling ourselves to think we can guard against every threat.

Obeying God brings blessings, but sometimes not immediately. Staying on his path can prevent bad decisions. Trusting him is the other part of the equation.

When you ask God to lighten your load, he will bring to your mind things you need to turn over to him. Stop clinging to them and do it. Jesus wants you to enjoy the freedom he earned for you on the cross.

For more help, try these:

Holding a grudge is like dragging a heavy anchor through life…

Beat fear and build a bigger life…

When you're envious of another, you lose sight of your own uniqueness…

Worry can kill your spirit…

Trust in God and watch his power flow into your life…

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