Joyce Meyer - Living A Balanced Life
Joyce Meyer: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. Today we want to talk about living a balanced life in Christ. How many times have you done things that you really knew down deep inside God was not telling you to do or leading you to do? They could be wonderful things, great ideas, they might even help other people, but because you really didn't feel the leading of God to do them, you began to feel overwhelmed and overburdened and even got to the point where you just got burnt out. Well, today I'm joined by Rick Renner, senior pastor of Moscow Good News Church and the director of our Russian office. He understands the implications of burn out because he's been there himself. Well, Rick, it's so good to see you all the way here from the former Soviet Union.
Rick Renner: It's always good to see you, Joyce.
Joyce Meyer: Of course our viewing audience can't see your beautiful wife, but she's here in the studio. We love you and Denise. You're great.
Rick Renner: Thank you.
Joyce Meyer: Well, I know that a lot of people today watching are tired, they're weary, they're worn out. I can just sense that many of them feel like they're in a trap that they don't know how to get out of. They feel like they're doing too much, but they don't know what they can not do in order to make more room. And I've had my own experience with living an unbalanced life and getting burnt out and getting physically ill. And I know you've had one too. So tell us what happened to you.
Rick Renner: Well, 6 years ago I had a real revelational moment in my life. Denise and I were ministering in two different countries every week. We pastored in Moscow, and we pastored in Kiev. So we were flying back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And honestly, Joyce, we didn't even know where we were. We were like two ships passing in the night. I would walk in and Denise would say, "Where have you been?" and I would have to think. Let me think, where did I just come from? "Rick, do you know where you're going?" I can't remember where I'm going. And there was such a disconnect. And emotionally, I began to, what I call, flatline. It's like I didn't have any ups. I didn't have any downs, which in one way that sounds healthy, but we're designed for some ups and downs. And it was like I just flatlined. And Denise kept saying to me, "Rick, you have no emotions."
Joyce Meyer: Just kind of like a little machine just buzzing along.
Rick Renner: Yeah, I just became a machine. Stand here, say that. And in fact, even in our church in Moscow which, you know the thing is, Joyce, in the middle of all this, everything was blessed. The church was blessed. TV was blessed. Everything was blessed. The books were blessed, but I wasn't blessed.
Joyce Meyer: That's a very good point. You know, it's wonderful if everything we're doing is blessed and if we're blessing other people, but if you're miserable... I just decided a long time ago, if I could not enjoy being in the ministry and enjoy the work that I do, then something was wrong. And I've even talked to numerous pastors. I remember one time doing a meeting and I asked for all the people that were in ministry that were not enjoying being in ministry. They felt called. They wanted to do it. They believed they were supposed to do it, but they weren't enjoying it to come up for prayer. And I thought I'd have a few people. I mean I was overwhelmed with the number of people that came up. So I think that's a very good point. Everybody else can be enjoying what you're doing, but are you enjoying it?[/color
Rick Renner: I was trapped. I didn't know what to do. My life was not in my control. Everyone else was telling me where to go. In fact, I mean they were literally saying, "You need to be here. You need to stay here. You need to stand here and say this. Okay, now you need to be here. You need to stand here. You need to say this." It wasn't even any thinking involved. It was almost like I was the marionette.
Joyce Meyer: But I think it probably is good to say like you said your life wasn't in your control, and I know that feeling 'cause I felt like I got to that point too. But we have to be responsible to say that we did let it get there.
Rick Renner: We did.
Joyce Meyer: You said yes to those things at some point and started doing them. And then we give responsibilities to other people and then it just gets to the point where, you know.
Rick Renner: Well, for me the big revelational moment came when I took Denise to Athens for her birthday. So she and I were sitting at the table together, and we weren't exactly having the greatest time. You know when you don't spend any time together and you're just living together, but not really living together. And I said, "Well, Denise, tell me, what would you like for your birthday?" Oh, I was so sorry I asked. And she said, "Rick Renner." And when she says that, I know something's coming. "If we're in the same country on the same day, I would like to have minutes."
Joyce Meyer: Oh, my gosh.
Rick Renner: And when she said that, it really hit me. And Joyce, that night I took her to dinner. And now this will show you how out of control I was on my schedule. We were celebrating Denise's dinner in a beautiful hotel in Athens. She thinks that it's just me and her. All of a sudden the door opens and in walks all of our television crew, and they're taking pictures of me and Denise. And that's when she found out that the next day when she went back to Moscow, I was staying in Corinth in order to do some television filming. She looked at me like, "You have got to be kidding me. I'm gonna go to that airport by myself while you're gonna go do filming." And things were just out of control.
Joyce Meyer: And, you know, I'm sure that there's lots and lots of people watching today, moms and dads and factory workers and office workers and, you know, they're not in ministry like you and I are in ministry, but this problem can seep into anybody's marriage, into anybody's relationship with their children. And I think especially sometimes people don't spend any time with God, and they're certainly not spending any quality time with themselves. I say a lot of times, I stay out of a lot of trouble because I have meetings with myself. Sometimes you just need to book a meeting with yourself and say, "Okay, I'm running like a crazy person. Why am I doing this? What's the fruit, you know? Has God been done with this a long time ago? Am I just doing it to impress somebody?"
Rick Renner: Well, I came home from that trip and I said, "Denise, let's go into the bedroom." So we went into the bedroom. We closed the door. We got up on the bed to talk. And I began to acknowledge. I mean it was one of the hardest talks we've ever had. Acknowledge what I've done wrong. Acknowledge where I've been not the man of God I should have been. Acknowledge that my time with God is not what it should have been or we wouldn't have been in this mess. And Joyce, acknowledging is one thing but acknowledging is only the first step. I had to repent. And for me to repent meant that I had to dig into the deepest part of my soul because my soul did not know how to say NO. I said YES to everything.
Joyce Meyer: And then we have to ask ourselves the deep question is, "Why am I doing all of these things?"
Rick Renner: I didn't want to let people down.
Joyce Meyer: Didn't want to let people down. And, you know, I've discovered and I know you know this too that God really doesn't care too much about what we do, it's why we do it.
Rick Renner: That's right.
Joyce Meyer: If our motive for what we do is not right, then it's useless and worthless. There's no reward for our works if our motive is wrong in doing it. And a lot of times, Rick, and I'm sure you know this too, a lot of the reason why we have a hard time saying no is we're insecure. We want everybody to like us, to approve of us, to think we're great people. We don't want anybody angry at us. You know, we don't want them to disagree with our decision. And I've had to learn that anytime that somebody wants to hear YES and I tell them NO, they're not gonna like it. But if they love me, if they love me, then they will give me the freedom to make my own choice and they'll say, "I totally respect you for following the peace in your heart," even if they don't get what they want.
Rick Renner: Well, I was under self-imposed pressure because I felt like if I didn't do what everybody asked me to do, then I was gonna fail someone or disappoint someone. And Joyce, honestly, I mean when we begin to do this real review of our lives... well, first of all, you know, to bring correction it's, I mean to acknowledge what you've done wrong, to repent to the depth of your bones. And I mean that kind of repentance is so powerful because you've got to look at what you've done wrong and acknowledge it. And then you've gotta bring correction. And in my particular case, because of my character, I knew I needed help in bringing correction. And so I called the men who really are on our board of directors, and they flew to Moscow and sat down with me and Denise. And they said, "Here's what you're gonna do. You're not gonna do this. You're not gonna do this. You're gonna sit in this house..." We have a beautiful house which became my prison for months. "And God is gonna do a work in your heart."
Joyce Meyer: Because you were actually, just to make sure our viewers understand why this was so vitally important. You were even having physical and emotional trauma from this. It was very... in a way, you had like a mini type of a complete breakdown.
Rick Renner: I wouldn't say mini.
Joyce Meyer: It was big, huge.
Rick Renner: I mean I was holding on to my Bible for my dear life, and we began to build a structure, a new structure for our lives.
Joyce Meyer: That's good. That's very good.
Rick Renner: But during that time I had to review all the things we've done. But I would have to say a lot of what we did, good works, but not ordained by God, somebody else should have done that.
Joyce Meyer: That's so good. Well, you know, we are gonna come back in just a minute and talk about this some more. But I just want to encourage you to really take a look at your life, at your schedule, at your health, at your emotions, at your relationships, and if you hear yourself complaining about your life all the time, you are really the only one who can get some order in your life. God will help you, but you need to be willing to do what pastor Rick is talking about, take that inventory, take responsibility, be willing to make the changes that you need to make.