Have you’ve ever said these words before? One more thing won’t hurt. I have many times.
I can get involved in another community project.
I can add another event into my week.
I can take on an additional ministry.
The problem is, in the majority of these situations, one more thing did hurt.
It led to higher levels of anxiety.
It led to hostility – blaming my overload on those around me.
It led to depression.
I call this the “one more thing won’t hurt” syndrome and it is prevalent everywhere. We see it in our workplaces, our churches and our homes.
What is the solution to the “one more thing won’t hurt” syndrome?
Richard Swenson in his book “Margin” says:
“Each of us needs to seek his or her level of involvement and not let the standard be mandated by the often exorbitant expectations of others.” (pg. 59)
This is not easy but it is necessary.
Swenson goes on to say:
“We must understand that everyone has a different tolerance for overload and a different threshold level when breakdown begins to occur. It is important for us to set people free to seek their own level.” (pg. 59)
This is very similar to Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s principle of “The Plate” which states that every person has a certain-sized plate based on their skills, gifts, life season, health, etc. Not all our plates are the same size, and that is the way God designed it.
How can we determine our “plate” size and live accordingly?
1. We must choose and establish our priorities.
We must decide what is of most importance and if adding one more thing is going to affect our ability to achieve this we need to learn to say no.
2. We must learn the art of setting and embracing our limits.
We can’t do it all and we must embrace and accept that and live our lives accordingly.
3. We must learn not to overdraw on our accounts of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual energy.
All of these accounts are finite. There is a point when they will run out. We must choose not to get to this point.
Do you suffer from the “one more thing won’t hurt” syndrome? How do you decide the size of your “plate”?
RECOMMENDED READING: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson