There comes a time in all our lives when we come in the house from playing with our friends and hear these words from an adult, ‘Go wash up! You smell like outside!’ It’s not pretty, but it’s a rite of passage.
As we mature, depending on how sensitive our parents’ or grandparents’ noses were, we may become self-conscious and resort to frequent “pit” checks (discreetly sniffing your underarm). Unfortunately, we aren’t nearly as vigilant with managing when our souls need to be refreshed. Like we discussed in a recent post, fatigue has become a badge of honor, while we disregard the consequences that come with burnout.
Our bodies respond to stress in different ways, many of which are invisible until they become dangerous. At a recent conference, we talked about the pitfalls of not knowing you need to be refreshed. We may not ever do away with pit checks, but we must prepare for an inner refresh before the symptoms take over!
Pitfall #1: When you don’t know you need a refresh, you REEK. Similar to what made Grandma’s nose twitch, your behavior can be a sign that you need to be refreshed. If your relationships stink, either your attitude or your “breath” may be the culprit. Think of your breath like your life’s breath, the product of your soul. Is your conversation often mean or rude, but you’re justifying it because of your circumstances, or calling it a personality trait? You weren’t born that way. And face it, when your breath stinks, people back away from you when you speak. You need to freshen up!
Pitfall #2: When you need a refresh, but don’t know it, you’re likely stuck on REPEAT. Your conversation resembles a broken record. People can guess what you’re gonna say before you open your mouth because it’s nothing new. Your testimonies have become stale, and you have yet to embrace the possibility of what God has planned for you.
He’s waiting for you to move away from old thinking. You’ve quit on yourself and on God, but you’re blaming people. You let your pain paralyze you. And the biggest losers? Your friends, family, and the people YOU are called to refresh! Everyone’s waiting for you to move forward, but something in your circumstances is making you blind to your potential. Time to freshen up!
Pitfall #3: Being unaware that you need a refresh can make you RELIGIOUS. Nearly everything you do is out of habit or routine — minimal passion. No fire. Just religious. When we act out of routine rather than being faith-filled and fueled, we operate according to our own ability. Our sight and insight is too limited to run our lives efficiently on our own, so what happens? We start trying to control our surroundings and the people in it; another aspect of religion.
Basically, to be religious is to consistently operate outside of faith which means we aren’t pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 says, ‘Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.’ How “fresh” can we be if we’re doing the opposite?
There are many potential pitfalls of ignoring our need for refreshing and self-care — inside and out. I focused on these three because these ‘soul symptoms’ can often be obvious without having to look too deep. Are you willing to hear the feedback of your inner circle? Run these pitfalls by them and ask if you’ve displayed these or other signs. Be open to the conversation that may be the turning point you need to break a destructive cycle. I believe in you, and I bet your friends do, too!