On Being a Dysfunctional Overachiever

I enjoyed this article from Christianity Today–I imagine that many others will resonate with the pastor author’s story. He took a sabbatical, but had to go back to work because he went through withdrawal from achievement. Counseling helped him to realize that integration of the mind with the body, brain, and community of others was essential to being balanced. Whether we are stay at home parents, children, or grandparents, we can all be over achievers–even if we’re not in the pastorate. I’d be interested in others’ experiences and thoughts, and how you achieve integration and sabbatical. Thanks.

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A timely topic, as I recently retired from medical practice after 37 years, and find it a bit hard to walk away from. In addition, my pastor is in his 3rd month of a 3 month sabbatical, so it is doubly relevant.
While I have kept busy with various things, it is good to have time to do things I could not previously do, and I take joy when I forget my phone, and realize I no longer need it and can relax.


Really interesting – thanks for sharing.

I have to wonder whether a lack of “integration” between spirituality and the brain can lead to someone seeing their entire faith as a mental exercise. As in, without the proper outlet for these other aspects of ourselves, they take over faith. I’m not quite clear on what proper integration looks like, but it’s interesting to ponder anyway.


There is much good in this articles, but the author make a mistake that undermines its value. He leaves in place the Western dualistic view of the Self, Mind and Body.

He points the finger at Augustine, which I am sure is proper because he did bring Plato into Christianity, but Augustine also defined the Western understanding of God as Trinity, and if the Trinitarian God created humans in God’s Own Image, then logically humans are trinitarian also.

Human beings are not just Mind and Body, we are Body, Mind, and Spirit. To say that humans do not a mind and not a spirit is absurd. See 1 Cor 2:11. Sadly the Spirit has become confused with the eternal Soul They could be related except Socrates made the Soul eternal which in effect makes it divine and not human.

As the pastor suggested it is the Spirit which integrates the Mind (Logos) with the Body, and keeps the Christian from being a Legalist living by rules, and not by Love. Reference the life of John Wesley.

Interesting article, @Randy and an important message for Christians generally I imagine. From the outside, it has always struck me that far too much emphasis was placed on accumulating the highest possible moral score. It has seemed to me if there were to be a meeting with a morally perfect, eternal being that the criteria He valued might very well be very different. If we look at the qualities which make for a good companion those might be of more relevance. Giving oneself an opportunity to explore and develop one’s interests and capacities should probably be given more weight.

Back when I anticipated a debrief from such a one when this life was over I desired most to be worthy company when the time came. To that end I felt it was important to treat others with respect and kindness, but even such a simple goal requires some diplomacy and creativity at times. It seemed to me the first requirement to be good company would be to stand as much as possible on our own feet. To own our choices and our criteria. I figured God would have no use for sycophants and flattery. I think we have to respect ourselves to respect others, God included.


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