by Rick Warren — January 18, 2017
When your emotional tank is empty, you’re unable to keep on loving people. You just give up! You are overwhelmed and feel inadequate. You tend to get angry with the ones you love the most. You try to avoid people, and you see them as problems. You dream of getting away. David had this problem. He said, “If only I had wings like a dove — I would fly away and find rest” (Psalm 55:6 GW).
To keep on loving people, you have to keep your emotional tank full, because when it gets low, it’s going to make a difference in your relationships.
The Bible has three suggestions for recharging emotionally:
Solitude. You need time alone. Today’s verse tells us Jesus frequently withdrew from crowds when he needed to recharge himself emotionally. In this case there was so much hustle and bustle, Jesus told the disciples to “come apart” for a while (Mark 6:31 KJV). You either come apart or you will come apart. You need times of solitude.
Recreation. There are certain things that recreate energy and enthusiasm for life. For you it may be hobbies, a sport, a craft, or games. Experiment, find out what recharges you emotionally, and then make time for it.
One of my favorite verses says, “The Son of Man came, enjoying life” (Matthew 11:19 Phillips). Jesus was the most intensive, ministry-oriented person that ever lived, but he enjoyed life. Whatever your job is when you’re giving out to others, it costs and exhausts. You need play time.
Laughter. “Being cheerful keeps you healthy” (Proverbs 17:22 TEV). Studies prove that when you laugh, it increases the number of T-cells, which raises your immunity level, which produces endorphins in your brain. Humor has beneficial effects!
God has given us the gift of laughter, and we need to learn how to laugh. I’ve talked to couples that were in serious conflict in their marriage. They would say, “Someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.” I say, “Why wait? Why not just laugh at it right now?” Laughter is a load lightener, an emotional recharger, and a love rebuilder.