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I have seen it develop more quickly, and more slowly. Religious burnout is a potential challenge for all believers, for lifelong Church members as well as converts and reverts.
Some people seem to struggle with it less than others. It can threaten the faith, hope, and love of any committed Christian.
Yet it remains spiritually valid, insofar as grace does not abolish nature, but rather brings it to perfection.
God does call us to repentance, but repentance and self-rejection are as different as night and day. We all have sins to repent of; but we are never called to cast ourselves aside or become “someone else.” * When our religious practice degenerates into habitual self-rejection, God may mercifully let us run out of steam rather than continue.
The same is true in cases where religion becomes a self-absorbed quest for one’s own perfection.
Here, too, we should understand our burnout as a chance for deeper conversion and awakening to God’s grace.
If we see ourselves as obedient and orthodox in our faith, we are liable to think that the worst error in religion is that of laxity and carelessness.
Besides the impossible effort to “earn” God’s love, another unconscious premise often underlies religious self-rejection.
It is the assumption (which I have discussed before) that God’s grace is limited to explicitly religious things and activities, rather than being present always and everywhere.
* Self-rejection can easily hijack religion and cause burnout.