My pastor, mentor, and friend, Pastor Mark Biehl, regularly and gently reminds us that our areas of concern will always exceed our areas of responsibility.

It’s a helpful distinction because it’s easy to feel responsible for things that we have no control over, or any responsibility (or opportunity, or ability) to fix.

Wisely distinguishing between concerns and responsibilities is a type of work–it’s not always easy to distinguish the line–but it’s also a tremendously helpful skill that can be a difference maker in remaining God-reliant and joyful amid difficult work.

Taking on more emotional duty than you’re actually responsible for is a sure pathway to burnout. It can also be a sign of having a savior complex. It can be tempting to burn up so much emotional energy on our areas of concern that we get to the point that we’re neglecting our actual responsibilities.

Knowing where we start and stop is key.

Lord, give us wisdom.