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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself

Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself

Joel Osteen - Take Care of Yourself
TOPICS: 15 Ways to Live Longer and Healthier

I love to help people. I love to say yes, but it's easy to get so caught up in trying to meet other people's needs and measure up to their expectations that we put ourselves on the back burner. There are demands at work, pleasing the boss and coworkers. There are family pressures, keeping your spouse happy, raising children, getting one child to football, practice another to dance. There's running to the grocery store, trying to make the perfect dinner everyone likes. Then it's off to the neighbor's birthday party.

We can't let anyone down, but sometimes to fulfill your destiny, you have to know your limits. You are God's creation. He has entrusted you with talents and dreams. You are valuable. It's important to take time to get refreshed, to re-energize. You shouldn't be so busy that you don't have time to be alone, have time to laugh, or time to eat healthy or to exercise. You need downtime. You need to do things that help you stay in balance. If you're running on half empty, it's hard to keep pouring into others. If you're exhausted and overwhelmed, it'll be difficult to fulfill your destiny. When people are making a lot of withdrawals from you, 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, and it's dangerous to live with a hero mentality that says, I have to be strong all the time, have to be at every event. I have to be super mom. I can't say no. What will people say if I do? People will take as much as you give them. They'll let you work 24 hours a day if you'll do it, but when you're mentally 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 causing you to live overwhelmed with stress. Nobody can make this change to take care of yourself, except you. You have to be the one to say, I'm going to make some adjustments. I'm going to keep myself healthy. I'm going to make sure that I'm taking care of my emotional well-being, taking care of this temple that God has given me, and it's okay to say no.

The people who are counting on you to perform, to be there for them may not ever say, why don't you take a break? Take the evening off, spend it doing what you want to do. I'll cover for you. They don't always know that you're emotionally spent, that you're on your last battery. Only you can gauge that. When you step back to take care of yourself, people may say, what's going on? Where are you, superman? You have to tell them, superman went back to the phone booth and turned back into Clark kent for a while. Superman was tired. Superman needed rest. Superman had to get back in balance. Not everyone will like it, but your health and emotional well-being are important to have the endurance you need for the plans God has for you.

When you make these adjustments, don't be surprised if you feel guilty, I should be helping. I should be at my neighbor's. I should be working late. Don't be guilted into doing things that are keeping you out of balance. You can't work all the time, serve your family all the time, be strong for others all the time. Sometimes like Jesus, you need to pull away. You need a moment to recharge. When Jesus was on the earth, he went around healing people, teaching in the synagogues, lifting people up, spending time with his disciples. Everywhere he went, there were needs. People would come up and ask, will you heal my child? Will you come to our city? Will you come to my house? Can I touch the edge of your robe?

People made constant demands on his time and energy. As the Son of God, he had this incredible power anointing and wisdom. He had so much to offer. He loved helping people. Yet at times he was tired. The scripture says he would go away from the crowds up into the mountains to be alone so he could get recharged. He could have felt guilty, could have thought man, there are so many needs. There are people to heal and lepers to cleanse. I can't take a break. But Jesus knew he had to take care of his temple. And the reason some people are not enjoying life is because their account is overdrawn. They're good at letting other people make withdrawals. They work hard, try to meet expectations, keep everyone happy, but they don't get filled back up.

Despite all the needs around you, despite what your children, your spouse, your boss, your friends are counting on you for, like Jesus, you have to have these times to get alone and recharge your batteries. When you live drained, depleted, you won't be as productive. You won't have the stamina to overcome challenges or temptations. You won't enjoy your family like you should. There will be more strife and conflict, but you'll be amazed at what will happen when you get back in balance and make yourself a priority.

Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That means you need to love yourself in order to love others. You need to have grace for yourself in order to have grace for others. You need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. So be loving towards yourself. Yes, you want to be a great parent, but you don't have to be a super parent. Yes, you want to do great at your job, but you don't have to work to the point of exhaustion. It's good to want to volunteer at church, but you don't have to say yes to every opportunity. If Jesus knew his limits, he recognized the importance of rest, then we should too. We can try to do everything. We can try to be superman, but that's not healthy and it's not God's best. So take the cape off and get your life and priorities back in balance.

I found that I'm at my happiest and healthiest when I'm with people who inspire me to pursue God's best. My wife Victoria is an incredible voice of wisdom and encouragement in my life and in the lives of so many others. I wanted to sit down with her and discuss some of these strategies that have helped our church, our family, and our relationships grow stronger and healthier over the years.

Joel Osteen: We're talking about taking care of yourself, and Victoria has been always a very caring and loving person. She will do anything in the world for you and for other people. And I remember Victoria, especially early on in our marriage, I'd have to encourage you, Victoria, you have to take time for you. You would get up, stay late, work for others, run people here, but I think that's a tendency that a lot of people have, especially mothers, is just to do everything for everybody else. But you end up in the end where you're run down. You're not as emotionally healthy and strong as you could be. But I think that's why I realize we're a three-part person. We're emotional, we're physical, and we're spiritual, and we're all busy these days. I know you guys are incredibly busy, but I've learned I got to take time if I'm going to be my best on the weekends when I speak and when I share, I have to have time during the week to have recreation. We have to have time to laugh. There's always going to be problems. There's always going to be challenges, but we have to make an effort to say, I want to keep myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.

Victoria Osteen: Yeah, I think so. I think I'll still do anything. My kids say this. My kids say, mom will go live in another country, if it were to help us. She would go do something for three days if it was to help us. And I still do that, but I think that kind of comes from the fact that I guess the way I was raised, I have a great mom and dad and brother and everything, but it was like we were always going and my mom was always doing. She was always doing something. And so I think I learned that you can have fun, too. You can be doing these things and have fun, too. And so I've kind of tried to give that to my kids, so I always make sure I go, hey, y'all have a great time, or y'all are going to have a blast where in my own nature would be like, okay, we got to go get this done. We've got to do this. Yeah, I'll be having fun doing it, but I won't actively be thinking about how fun this is. Does that make sense? So I've had to learn that, and I heard this guy talking about this leadership thing the other day and he says, is there an employee that you look at or a coworker that you look at and when they're laughing and having fun, it makes you mad because they're not working hard enough? And I could so relate to that. Not that it makes you mad, but you just think, okay, it's not time to laugh right now. We have to get this done. And I think that we can get in those cycles and we can think we have to do, do, do, do do. But we have to laugh. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to take time for recreation. And I know that you and i, we love to go bike riding. We love to just sometimes just go out in the backyard and sit on the back porch and just talk. But we've really kind of learned to do that. And I know that too life can wind down a little bit. It doesn't have to always be so busy, so you have to make priority time to do that. But even us now, I think we've gotten better at that, don't you?

Joel Osteen: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think we definitely have, and even COVID, as negative as that was, and some people lost their lives, there were some positive changes. I think it made us all reevaluate what's important, how we spending our time and energy, and I think a lot of people and us too, in one sense, you can work all the time. It's just important to take care of yourself. I think about my father. My dad came out of the generation of the depression where they worked all the time. He didn't have any money, and so he had that incredible work ethic. Well, he never took a vacation. He preached Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. He never took a vacation. And really, he would go to India, we'd go to India with him a couple times a year, and he called that his vacation. But he'd come back more rested and refreshed and reenergized, and we'd always encourage him, daddy, you got to get away. But he didn't see it. He didn't come from that generation. But when I started pastoring, I thought, I can't preach 52 weeks a year. I mean I could, but I wouldn't be any good. But I do four on and one Sunday off and four on something like that. But I found out what works for me and the most important thing is you have a responsibility. God's given you life and breath and a body to live in, and it's a responsibility to take care of it. That means not working all the time. That means saying no sometimes, and that means it's okay to have time to relax, and I go play sports. I go play tennis with Jonathan four or five times a week now. I love to exercise, ride bikes. We go for walks, but I just think that there's a lot of people that take care of everybody else, but make sure you're taking care of yourself.

Sometimes when it comes to being overwhelmed and burned out, it's not other people's expectations that are the problem. It's our own expectations. We feel guilty if we're not doing everything we think that needs to be done. If we're not meeting everyone's needs. After all, we think we have the ability, the talent, the anointing, but you also have a physical body. As Jesus showed us, our physical bodies have limits. Jesus had to get away to keep being his best. If he had lived depleted, he would've shortchanged himself. The best thing he could do was to get recharged. You need to have time on a regular basis where you get replenished. Don't make the mistake of living life in an overdrawn account.

If you go into a new week at a deficit, those same needs will be there, but you won't have anything to give. That's when you feel overwhelmed and frustrated and you won't be as productive. It's not difficult to change. It just takes getting back in balance. On a regular basis, start taking time for you. What replenishes you for what strengthens your spirit and 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. Say, sorry, I can't be there Monday night. It's a new season. You have to tell your children you can't play on seven different teams this fall. Pick your favorite. The apostle Paul was supposed to travel to the city of Corinth and visit the people in the church he had started. He told them earlier that he would be coming and they were planning for his visit, but Paul encountered great difficulties in Asia. He wrote in second Corinthians, we were pressed beyond measure. We were so overwhelmed we despaired of life itself.

This was the apostle Paul who spent years in missionary travel and church planning. He tells them that he felt so overwhelmed, he didn't think he could go on. To continue onto the Corinthians would require additional strength on his part because there were painful problems within the church that needed correction and instruction. He could have thought, I have to keep my word to them. They're already expecting me. What if they get upset? What if they don't understand? But Paul knew his limits. Yes, he was powerful. 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 wellbeing. He knew that he couldn't operate at his best if he was depleted, drained, and worn out. So he sent a letter saying in effect, I'm sorry, I can't come. He could have had a hero mentality, thought 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 in essence said, I'm overwhelmed. I have to get replenished. Once I get filled back up and I'm healthy, whole, restored, then I'll come visit you. There are times you have to be bold like Paul and say no to too much, no to exhaustion and depletion. No to doing things out of guilt and pressure. I'm not talking about living selfishly. I'm talking about living balanced, recognizing that you have to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. 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 go to Corinth like Paul couldn't, people may get upset. They may try to make you feel badly, 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.

Many years ago, there was a lighthouse located on a rocky stretch of coastline. The keeper who was in charge of keeping the flame burning in the oil lamb was given a new supply of oil once a month. His main focus was to make sure the lighthouse beacon shone brightly to help sailors guide their ships at night. The lighthouse property was close to a neighborhood. One cold night, an elderly woman came and said she needed oil for her heater. The keeper felt badly for her and gave her some oil. Then a father knocked on the door 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 about helping this good cause and gave him the oil. Another man came saying he was stranded and needed oil to lubricate his will. The keeper felt sorry for him and gave him the oil.

Toward the end of the month, the supply of oil for the lighthouse was running low. He sent word to the town to let them know that he needed more oil. But before the new oil arrived, the oil ran out and the lighthouse beacon went out. That night, a huge ship was disoriented in a storm and crashed into the rocks. When the authorities came, the keeper was so apologetic. He told them how he had used the oil to help other people who needed it so badly. They told him sternly, you were given oil for one purpose, to keep the lamp burning and the light shining. Sometimes we're like this keeper. We're so good hearted. We want to help someone, measure up to their expectations of us, so we run here and there to keep them happy. All the while we're depleting our oil, our light is going out.

You have to keep your lamp burning and your light shining to keep yourself healthy, whole and strong. If your fire goes out, you can't help others. If you're living depleted, drained, running on empty, you're not shining like you could. How much brighter and happier and further along could you be if you do like Jesus and on a regular basis, take time to get refreshed and replenished. That means taking care of your temple physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Too many people are burning out. You can go for a while living out of balance, but eventually it will catch up to you. We need to learn to be okay with saying no. We need to learn the importance and the power of rest. What you have to offer is amazing. Your gifts, your talents, your love, keep your light on. Keep it shining. If you do this, I believe and declare you're going to feel weights lift off of you. You're going to live longer, freer and healthier. You're going to have better relationships, more energy, and become all you were created to be.

An abundant life starts on the inside and works its way out. You should be your biggest encourager because your happy, healthy life can't happen without you. Here are some words to live by. Every day, I choose joy. God has me in the palm of his hand. I never have to worry. As a child of God, I am unoffendable and quick to forgive. I forgive because I am forgiven. As the scripture says:

I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might.

in all circumstances, I will bless the Lord, for this is the day he has made.

God is on the throne. He is ordering my steps. He is providing for my every need.

I can surrender my worries, my burdens, and all my cares into his hands.

I look forward to tomorrow, but embrace the present.

I have grace for today, and God will give me grace for tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

I'll fight for those who cannot fight for themselves because my God fights for me.

my rest comes from God. He is the one who restores my soul.

I am who God says I am, and I will reach my full God-given potential no matter what comes my way. I have everything I need to live an abundant life.

In this series, we unlock a number of habits and decisions that can help you live longer and healthier. But the most important decision you could ever make is the one of asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life. I'd love to give you that opportunity. Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. I make you my Lord and Savior. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. I hope you'll get into a good Bible-based church and keep God first place.
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