A Potter's House Church pastor has warned Christians about the dangers of spiritual weariness and how to fight it as he offered five signs that people are living an "imbalanced life."
Pastor Touré Roberts of Los Angeles-based church One, a Potter's House Church, and podcasters from "The Same Room" held an on-stage Q&A late last month on avoiding an imbalanced life and the "cure" for spiritual weariness.
For the live conversation, Pastor Stephanie Ike and Angelica Nwandu from "The Same Room," spoke with Roberts about his book, Balance: Positioning Yourself to Do All Things Well, which was published last month.
Roberts dedicated a part of his book to highlighting five major signs that someone is living life in an imbalanced way.
"Weariness is a sign. And there’s a difference between tiredness and weariness. All of us get tired. You work all day. You get tired. You go to sleep. Your body is set up for that. Weariness is different though,” Roberts explained.
Being tired can be fixed with a nap, Roberts noted, but weariness cannot be resolved by sleeping because it stems from something more complex.
Roberts summarized the idea that being weary is not physical exhaustion, but it is a faith-focused issue that occurs when someone is worn-out in their mind, body, spirit and soul.
“When you are weary, you are spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically drained,” Roberts said. “The cure for weariness goes much deeper. … [You] have to deal with some of the spiritual things that have been depleted.”
“You have to replenish you. You don’t replenish you with sleep."
Roberts said that weariness is "the gradual, gravitational pull down to the tarmac of disaster" and that being weary is often something that goes unaddressed among many.
“You get weary and you keep going. But, what you don’t realize is you’re going down and your creativity is slipping. Your innovation is slipping. Sometimes your integrity starts slipping. Weariness is not good, and you have to deal with it,” Roberts warned.
The "cure" for weariness for Christians is to be replenished by the Creator of all things who sustains the mind, body, spirit, soul and emotions, according to Roberts.
“You are spirit. So you replenish yourself with The Spirit. You replenish yourself with God. … So you get your physical rest. But, you also have to connect with God. You have to connect with the Source of your soul,” Roberts preached, while mentioning Psalm 23.
"Psalm 23 says, 'He restores my ...' what? 'My soul.' So when I am weary, my soul needs to be replenished. And that's why rest won't do it, you have to work spiritual disciplines," he continued.
At the start of the Q&A session, Roberts said he believes many Christians are struggling with finding balance in their lives, which he said includes facing constant weariness.
“People, when they approach balance, they are 'trying to find balance.' That means that imbalance has become normal and anything that becomes normal is very difficult to detect. If we’re saying: ‘I’m out of balance or I need balance,’ we are in essence confessing that our lifestyle is imbalanced,” Roberts said.
“I wanted to create dissatisfaction and intolerance for being imbalanced because when we’re out of balance, we don’t produce well. We don’t do anything well. We don’t relationship well. We don’t innovate well. We don’t create well. We don’t connect well. We don’t do community well."
Another sign a Christian is leading an imbalanced life is remaining stagnant, Roberts said.
“The first sign is stagnation; you feel stuck. … Two weeks ago, you were good. But, for some reason now, you feel stuck, and you don’t feel like you can move forward. Being stuck is unnatural. Everything in the world moves. The earth is moving right now,” Roberts said.
“The sun is setting slowly but surely. Even internally, things are moving. Your heart. Just touch it, take a moment right now. That’s movement,” he told the crowd. He said that where movement is missing, stagnation is happening, and “something is off.”
Lack of vision
Another sign that a person is operating in an imbalanced state is a “lack of vision,” according to Roberts.
Roberts said that many people at the start of the new year had a passion for a vision that they hoped to accomplish. And for some, he said, the vision was clear and they were moving towards it. But many lost sight of their vision by the time March rolled around.
“Oftentimes, even at that, moving toward ... your vision got you out of balance," he said. "When you lose clarity of vision, that's another sign."
Roberts said that jealousy and envy are also signs of imbalance.
“When [a] person is out of balance ... it’s easy to be jealous and envious of other people because you’re not living in the environment that affirms you. When you’re balanced, you’re affirmed. You are affirmed in who you are. You are enough, and you are so busy doing you that you’re not moved," said Roberts.
"In fact, you are encouraged by the success of other people because it’s connected to the success that you feel when you’re balanced."
'Decline in your thought life'
The fifth sign of imbalance is “a decline in your thought-life," Roberts said.
Roberts warned it's a bad sign when some people tend to think about the "lowest possible interpretation" of any given situation.
For example, he said some people will take offense to any little thing that someone might say to them when a statement isn’t intended to be perceived that way.
“When you are imbalanced, your thinking starts going down,” Roberts said.
Nwandu chimed in, mentioning that she has also struggled with an imbalanced life, admitting that she's experienced many different signs of imbalance in the book.
Roberts believes his book should resonate with generations of Christians.
“There are plenty of books on time management, work-life balance, and they’re great books, and we need all of that. But, we’re still out of balance, and so obviously that’s not the answer,” Roberts said.
“I just trusted and believed that through my own journey of seeking and searching and transformation to lay hold of balance that God would give me something that would impact the world, and He did."
Earlier in the conversation, Ike commented that when she began reading the chapter of Roberts' book on the five signs of an imbalanced life, her initial thought was that the book would be helpful for someone other than herself. But after reading the entire chapter, she said, that she felt convicted about her own struggles.
“[Weariness] masquerades itself as being tired. And I think that when we think we are balanced, not recognizing that it’s so easy to live in the dysfunction of imbalance because we are like: ‘oh, this should just be the natural outcome of productivity, of busyness. I’m tired,’” Ike said.
“I recognized that in my life, I was dealing with weariness.”