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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself

Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself


Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself

I want to talk to you today about Take Care of Yourself. It's easy to get so caught up meeting other people's needs, and measuring up to their expectations, that we put ourselves on the back burner. The demands of work, we have a boss to please, spouse to keep happy, pressures of raising children, got to get them to football, the other one to dance, need to run to the grocery store, dinner has to be perfect. Then off to the neighbor's birthday party, we can't let anyone down, they're counting on us. We have this hero mentality, we're always strong, we're always the one that comes through, that cheers them up, fixes the problem, that stays late.

We're doing all these good things keeping everyone around us happy. The problem is: we can become depleted, drained, worn out. We're making sure everyone else is a priority, you need to make yourself a priority. Your first mission is to keep yourself healthy. It's not selfish to take time for you. You need time to get refreshed, to be re-energized. You shouldn't be so busy you don't have time to be alone, time to laugh, time to exercise. You need recreation, you need these things that help you stay in balance.

See, when people are making a lot of withdrawals, you have to make sure you're putting in a lot of deposits. If you're giving all the time, and never filling back up, you're going to be depleted. You're good to others, why don't you be good to you? You're kind to others, be kind to you, be generous to you, be loving to you. Don't live with that hero mentality, "Got to be strong, got to be at every event, got to be superman, outperform, over achieve. I can't say no, what will they say"? People will take as much as you give them. They'll let you work 24 hours a day if you will. When you'll run down, emotionally drained, physically worn out, that's not just doing you a disservice, it's doing your family and those around you a disservice. Not only that it's not healthy, it's raising your blood pressure, causing you to live stress, overwhelmed, you'll be more irritable, short with your children, not as fun to be around.

Nobody can make this change except you. You have to be the one to say, "I'm going to make some adjustments to my schedule. Not going to go running every time this friend calls, not going to live up to the pressures and demands that are not reasonable. I'm going to keep myself healthy. I'm going to make sure my emotional well-being is good". If you don't learn to say no to some things, then nothing will change. Because the people that are counting on you to perform, to always be there, they're not going to say, "Why don't you take a break? Why don't you spend the evening doing whatever you want? I'll cover for you no you". No, you have them trained. They're expecting you to be there for them. The moment you aren't, they'll say "What's going on? Where are you, superman?" tell them "Superman went to the phone booth and turned back into Clark kent. Superman was tired. Superman needed rest. Superman had to get back in balance".

They may not like it, but your health, your emotional well-being is more important than keeping everyone happy. When you make these adjustments, don't be surprised if you feel guilty, "I should be helping, I should be at my neighbors, I should be working late. There are all these demands, I should be focusing on". Don't be guilty into doing things that are keeping you out of balance. There's nothing wrong with taking time for you. When you're tired you need rest. When you're drained you need to be replenished. Now, I'm not saying don't work hard: I'm all for working, achieving, being responsible. What I'm saying is: stay in balance. You can't work all the time, serve your family all the time, be strong for others all the time. Sometimes you have to say, "Sorry, I need a break, I need a moment to recharge. There's been a lot of withdrawals, I need to make some deposits".

For me it's easy to work all the time, it's easy to go 90 to nothing. I like to be productive, achieving, but I've learned: I'm not as creative if I don't have time for recreation. I'm not as productive if I hadn't taken time to laugh with my family, have fun together, exercise. That's how I get refreshed, work out, play basketball. When Victoria needs to be refreshed, she goes shopping, she'll spend three hours at the mall never buy a thing. Me going shopping I'm drained in five minutes. Everyone is different: do what replenishes you, what brings you back in balance. I know my brother Paul gets refreshed by crocheting.

When Jesus was on the earth, he went around healing people, teaching in the synagogues, lifting people up. Everywhere he went there was a need: people would come up, "When you heal my child? Will you come to our city? Can I touch the edge of your robe"? He had all these demands. Imagine how he felt: as the Son of God he had this incredible power, anointing, wisdom, so much to offer. Yet, at times when he was tired, the scripture says he would go away from the crowds up into the mountains and get alone, so he could be refreshed. He could have felt guilty, "There are so many needs: people to heal, lepers to cleanse, I can't take a break". But Jesus knew: he had to take care of his temple. No matter how anointed you are, you get tired. No matter how strong, smart, gifted, you get depleted. You have to have these times despite all the needs around you, despite what your children, spouse, boss, friends are counting on. You have to get alone and recharge your batteries.

If Jesus had to do it, if he couldn't meet all the demands of people around him, and he's the Son of God, why do we think we can go all the time and be everything for everyone? "Well, I can't let them down, they're counting on me". You know what I've learned? The sun will still come up if I don't get everything done. The sun will still rise if I don't keep everyone happy. You're not doing yourself any favors living out of a depleted state. And sometimes we've been doing it so long, we don't realize how far below our potential we're living. You won't be as good a parent, spouse, leader, friend, if you're not taking time to get away. There will always be needs, always be something to do, someone that needs your attention. You have to make it a priority to stay in balance.

And it's okay to be depleted, to work hard, to give it your best, to be there for people, but it's not okay to stay depleted. You have to get filled back up. And some people are living worn out, drained, no energy, they don't want to let anyone down. You've been there for everyone except you. Why don't you treat yourself as good as you treat others? You have to take care of your temples. You're not invincible. Jesus had all the power in the world, yet in his physical body he knew his limits. He knew when he was at the point where he had to take time to get replenished, where he had been giving out so much, making all these withdrawals, that he had to put in some deposits.

The reason some people are not enjoying life is because their account is overdrawn. They're good at letting people make withdrawals, they work hard, meet expectations, keep everyone happy, but they don't have a system to where they get filled back up. When you live drained, depleted, you won't be as productive, you won't have the stamina to overcome challenges, you won't to enjoy your family like you should, there'll be more strifes, conflicts. You'll be amazed at what happens if you'll get back in balance, if you'll make yourself a priority. Let go of some of the pressures. Yes, you love your children, but you don't have to be super parent. Your children are going to be raised out of the house at some point. If you don't want to look back and think, "Man, I didn't enjoy those years. I was so stressed, overwhelmed, tried to be everything, keep up with my neighbors".

If Jesus knew his limits we should know our limits. And yes, we can do everything, we can be superman, but that's not healthy. Take the cape off. Get back in balance. Sometimes it's not other people's expectations: it's our own expectations. We feel guilty for not doing everything we think needs to be done, for not meeting all the needs. After all, we have the ability, the talent, the anointing. But you also have a physical body. Like with Jesus there are limits. He had to get away to keep being his best. If he would have lived depleted, he would have shortchanged himself. The best thing he could do was to get recharged. On a regular basis you need to have these times where you get replenished. Life makes a lot of withdrawals, things we're not even aware of: traffic, work, deadlines, delays, difficult people, negative news, that's all draining, that's all taking from your account.

Now, don't make the mistake of living overdrawn. If you go into a new week at a deficit, those same things come to take from you, but there's nothing there. That's when you get overwhelmed, frustrated. You're not as productive, your gifts don't come out like they should. It's not difficult, just get back in balance. On a regular basis start taking time for you, for what replenishes you, for what fills you back up. This may mean you have to say no to some things, you may have to disappoint a few friends. "Hey, I can't be there every Monday night, it's a new season". You may have to tell your children, "We can't play on 17, different soccer teams this fall, let's just do 12".

When the pandemic hit, it forced us to slow down. Most people didn't go to work, didn't travel, airlines, some of them stopped running, shopping centers closed, everything was put on pause. And although people lost their lives, and our hearts go out to them, there was some good that came out of the pandemic: it shifted our priorities. We realized there's more to life than just working all the time, trying to achieve and outperform. We saw how much we missed spending time with our family, enjoying the people that we love. In a sense, it helped us bring us back into balance, to have a new perspective of what's important.

Since 2004 we have done over 200 Nights of Hope in different cities across America. Every month we'd go to the stadiums or basketball arenas. The event was normally on a Friday night, we'd come home Saturday afternoon, do church Saturday night, two services on Sunday. I write two books a year, do my Sirius XM radio program each week. I love doing it, but I didn't realize how much that was taken out of me. When the pandemic hit changed everything: no more events on the road. Said the three services, we recorded one service on Friday afternoon. No people in the auditorium. I'd come in do my message, half hour later I was done. In 23 years since my father passed I had never been so rested, never had so much energy.

I noticed that my contacts started to get blurry, couldn't read as well. I went to the eye doctor, he ran the test, he said, "Joel, this is very strange, but the reason your contacts are blurry is because your vision has improved". It hasn't gotten worse, it's gotten better. You need less correction. Who knows what will happen if you'll get back in balance? I didn't realize it, but when you have a lot of withdrawals taking place, you're spending a lot of emotional energy being productive, seeing your gifts come out, helping others, you have to make sure you're putting in a lot of deposits, you're taking time to get filled back up emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Working all the time is not hard: you have the drive, the passion, but when you do you're running at a deficit, your account is low. It starts affecting other things: your health, creativity, your attitude, relationships. Stay in balance. Take time to get away. Every day you need to have some time to yourself, some time to get refreshed. Then on a regular basis put on the schedule what fills you back up. Make it a priority to take care of you.

The apostle Paul was supposed to travel to the city of Corinth, and visit with the people. He had told them earlier than in a while he would be coming. They were planning for his visit, eagerly awaiting for him to show up. But Paul encountered great difficulties in asia. He was dealing with problems, and people coming against him. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8, "We were pressed beyond measure. We were so overwhelmed, we despaired of life itself". This was the apostle Paul who wrote nearly half of the New Testament, saying that he felt so overwhelmed, he didn't think he could go on. Here he had already told these people he would come, he'd already made this commitment, and these unexpected challenges came up. He could have thought, "I can't disappoint them, they're expecting me. What if they get upset? What if they don't understand"?

But Paul knew his limits. Yes, he was powerful. Yes, he wrote "I can do all things through Christ". Yes, he prayed and prison doors flung open, but he understood this principle that it was up to him to take care of his physical and emotional well-being. That he can't operate his at his best, if he's depleted, drained and worn out. So he sent a letter telling them in effect, "Sorry, I can't come". He could have had a hero mentality, "They're counting on me. I'm the one they look up to. I can't let them down". But he took his cape off, and said, "I can't do it". He was saying, "You've seen the superman Paul, now you're seeing the human Paul. I'm overwhelmed, I've got to get replenished. Once I get filled back up healthy, whole, restored, then I'll come visit with you".

There are times you have to be bold like Paul and say, "No, I can't do it. I know it may hurt feelings. I know I've been there in the past. I know I told you I would, but I need a break, I have to get refreshed". Jesus did it, Paul did it, it's okay if you do it. Don't try to be superman. Superman is a fictional character. Superman in real life would have had a nervous breakdown. It's okay to say "No". That's one of the most powerful words you can learn.

Now, I know "Yes" is exciting, we want to do it all. "Yes, I'll come. Yes, I'll work late. Yes, I'll be there for you. Yes, I'll make sacrifices so you can go further". But there will be times you have to say, "Sorry, I have to take care of me. I have to protect my health. I have to let my mind rest. I have to release this stress". Sometimes we're holding on to things that are overwhelming us. What you won't say no to can end up killing you. You've been there for everyone else, why don't you be there for you? Why don't you make yourself a priority?

And no, I'm not talking about living selfishly, I'm talking about living balanced, recognizing that your physical and emotional well-being is up to you. And some of the people you bend over backwards for, you make great sacrifices to help them, when you need help they're never around, they're busy, they have other opportunities. Yes, be good to others, be a blessing whenever you can, but also know your limits. If you can't be a blessing every time, that's okay. If you can't come to Corinth, like Paul, people may get upset, they may try to make you feel bad, but they're not responsible for your health. They're not going to give an account for your assignment. It's not heroic to try to meet everyone else's expectations, and miss your own destiny.

Friend of mine was a very successful pastor. We knew him growing up, and he traveled the world, helping people, and speaking at these large events. But he was so caught up in his calling, and the doors that were opening, that he didn't pay attention to his health. He knew he was doing too much, running depleted, mentally drained, physically run down, but he never took time to get replenished. He didn't have any kind of system where he'd get filled back up. You can't keep giving out, making withdrawals, and never making deposits, never putting anything in. He flew home from overseas, it was an 18-hour flight. He was so tired, so exhausted. The problem is: he had another trip to take the next afternoon. He told me, "I knew there was no way I could physically do it, but I had this commitment, I wanted to keep my word".

He got on that flight and never ministered again: had a stroke, lost his speech, lost his motor skills. You're not doing yourself any favors not taking care of yourself. If the apostle Paul can say "No", then we can say "No". And here's a key: you make your own schedule. You decide what you're going to do. Don't make commitments that you know are not wise for your health.

When I get up to speak each weekend it takes a lot of emotional energy. Physically I can run all day, but emotionally there's a limited supply. So Thursdays and Fridays I schedule no meetings, no calls. I know it's going to be a big withdrawal on Sunday, so I have to get filled back up. If I'm dealing with problems, trying to fix this situation, plan this event, need to visit this person, I'm not going to be my best up here. I have to take time to get quiet, so I can stay in balance. That's when you're the most creative, the most effective. These days there are more demands for your time and attention than ever. Everyone wants a piece of you: advertisers, tv, internet, social media, school, work, friends. People are vying for your attention.

You have to be selective about what you commit to. When you're at your limit, you can't keep adding to your schedule without taking something else away. We think, "Well, I can go do this too. And my friend wants me to come here. And I can write this extra proposal. And I can make my child's weekend tournament". We have good intentions, but it's too much. If you don't know how to say "No", you're going to get over-committed. It may be a good thing, but good things can wear you out. Good people can still deplete you. It's all about balance. Does it work with the season you're in right now? Does it fit with what you already have to do?

Victoria and I have always loved real estate. Whenever we see an open house sign, where a house is for sale, if we have time we go in to look around, it's just a hobby. We win another state the other day, and we saw this open house, we went all through it. As I was leaving, the real estate agent, this young man thanked us for coming and asked for my phone number, so he could send me information on other houses. I said, "Oh, no, we're not interested. We're not serious buyers, we're just looking around". He said, "Okay, but can I get your email? I'd like to put you on our mailing address". I don't know about you, but I don't need another email, another text, another phone call. I have enough things to give my attentions to. And I said very politely, "No, thanks". He said, "Okay, but at least give me your home address, so I can stay in touch".

He was very persistent. I understand he wants to sell, I'm very nice, I don't want to hurt people's feelings. Normally I would have just given in, and given in my brother Paul's email, but this time I looked at him with a big smile and said, "I'm sorry, but I don't want anyone to contact me". I walked out of there so proud of myself, I have never done that in my life before. I love to say "Yes", but sometimes to fulfill your destiny you have to say "No". Paul said "No, I can't come to Corinth right now, I'm too tired". Jesus said, "No, I can't heal people right now, I have to rest". Are there some things you need to say "No" to? Maybe they're good things, but it's not the right season. It's wearing you down, taking time and energy from the main things you need to do.

Solomon said in the scripture (Solomon 1:6), "They made me a keeper of vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept". He was saying, "I kept everyone else happy, I met all their demands, worked over time, built the business, sacrificed for my children, but I didn't take time for me, I didn't keep myself healthy". You made others a priority, it's okay to make yourself a priority.

Years ago there was a lighthouse on a rocky stretch of coastline. The keeper who was in charge of keeping the flame burning was given a new supply of oil once a month. His main focus was to make sure the lighthouse shined brightly. Well, it was close to a neighborhood, one cold night an elderly woman came, said she needed oil for her heater. The keeper felt badly for her, and gave her some oil. Another father came and said it was an emergency, he needed oil for his lamp so he could travel through the night to get medicine for his child. The keeper didn't think twice, that's a good cause, gave him the oil. Another man came passing through that was stranded, needed oil to lubricate his will. Keeper felt sorry for him, and gave him the oil.

Toward the end of the month the oil for the lighthouse was running low. He sent word to town to let them know, he had to have more oil. But before the new oil arrived the lighthouse went out. That night a huge ship was disoriented and crashed into the rocks. The authorities came, and the keeper was so apologetic, he told how he'd used the oil for all these people that needed it so badly. They said to him very sternly, "You were given oil for one purpose: to keep that lighthouse burning".

And sometimes like this keeper we're so good-hearted, we want to help this person, measure up to their expectation, run here, keep them happy. All the while we're depleted, our lights going out. You've been given oil for one purpose: to keep your light burning, to keep yourself healthy, whole, and strong. If your fire goes out, you can't help all those others. If you're living depleted, drained, running on empty, you're not shining like you could. You're making it, but what could you be if you got back in balance? How much brighter, further, longer, happier could you be if you did like Jesus: on a regular basis took time to get refreshed, to be replenished.

I'm not saying to live selfishly, I'm not saying to not work hard, I'm saying: take care of your temple physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You're not invincible. People may think you're superman because you're so strong, so gifted, you're always up. But like all of us you're human. You need to be refreshed. Too many people are burning out. You can go for a while out of balance, but eventually it will catch up to you.

I heard this saying, "It's easier to maintain good health than it is to try to regain lost health". When you live depleted, it's wearing you down, it's affecting your immune system. You need to get out from under that pressure. Learn to say "No". You may have to eliminate some good things in order to stay healthy. Listen, we need you here for a long time. What you have to offer is amazing: your gifts, your talents, your love. Keep your light burning. Yes, be good to others, but don't forget to be good to you. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: you're going to feel weights lift off of you, you're going to live longer, freer, healthier, have better relationships, more energy, and become all you were created to be, in Jesus name. If you receive it, can you say amen? Amen.
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