A Church's Response to "Soul Weariness"

What is "Soul Weariness"?


So much of life brings about exhaustion and distraction, where can we turn for rest? In this first video created in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, Garrett Higbee, Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, describes soul weariness and shares the best place to go for rest.


In addition to his work for the Biblical Counseling Coalition, Garrett Higbee serves as Executive Director of Biblical Soul Care at Harvest Bible Chapel and is former president and co-founder of Twelve Stones Ministries. He has created several Biblical Soul Care® training resources focused on small group discipleship.  


Psalm 42:5 (ESV)

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Garrett described soul weariness as a severe type of tiredness and exhaustion. Based on his teaching, how does this type of exhaustion seem to differ from a typical tiredness due to busyness?
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Garrett said people become soul weary because our culture in general doesn’t slow down. Sound familiar? What parts of your life keep you so busy that you have a hard time slowing down? What things in general do you think keep our culture so busy?
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Does anyone come to your mind who might be soul weary, based on Garrett’s description? If so, who? Are you soul weary? What things seem to overwhelm you?
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Garrett said that another reason why soul weariness arises is because people are not naturally reflective. We have loud souls. Do you agree with him? Would you consider your soul “loud”? Why or why not?
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Would you consider yourself a reflective person? Why or why not?
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What value do you see in personal reflection? What benefit would reflection bring into your life or into the life of someone you know who is soul weary?
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Garrett said that people’s tendency is to stay busy and distracted and ignore how overwhelmed they are until it becomes too much. If not caught early enough, soul weariness can turn into despair. The only thing, he says, that will satisfy someone at this point is Jesus.  

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


What does it mean for Christ to satisfy us when we’re soul weary? What does that look like?
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Garrett said that we were wired for soul rest, which is different than a vacation or recreation. How would you describe the rest found in Jesus? If you’re looking for soul rest, what do you hope Jesus will bring to your heart?
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Soul rest in Jesus brings relief, peace, and the assurance that God is with us. It can fill our hearts and our minds and revive us in a way nothing else can. 

 
How to Care for the Soul Weary


Soul rest in Jesus might not happen completely overnight, but it can come. In this next video, Garrett will share his church’s model for biblical soul care. You’ll see the very specific ways one community comes together to bring Jesus' peace into the weary hearts of their people.  



 Garrett believes best care for soul weariness often happens on the front lines. In his church, it’s the “one anothers” who take care of each other. He referenced Hebrews 3:13 as scriptural support. 

Hebrews 3:13 (ESV)

13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


What do you think “encouraging one another” looks like when it comes to soul weariness? How could a church put this into practice?
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Hebrews 3:13 references sin’s deceitfulness. Do you think all soul weariness is a result of sin? Why or why not? What are some types of soul weariness that might not be because of a person’s sin?
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Garrett’s church has three purposes in its model of soul care:

  • connecting
  • assessing
  • responding
Connecting is the simple act of understanding where people are in their struggle—how they feel and what their hurt is.  

Are you good at connecting with people’s pain, or are you quick to try to fix it? Why?
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Assessing looks at where the soul weariness is coming from. When people assess others’ weariness, they are looking to see if they are at risk or in danger. They also assess to what extent they can speak into the person’s weariness and help.  

If you know someone who is soul weary, are you willing to walk with them into counseling and stay with them through the dark valley? If not, are there other ways you can help? If you personally need help, are you willing to ask someone to walk with you?
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The final step for help is responding in practical ways to the needs of the soul weary. The church gives those who are hurting specific Scriptures to read and meditate on and even homework to help them apply what they’ve learned to their circumstances.  

What encouragement and hope has God’s Word given you when you’ve been discouraged? Can you think of specific Scriptures that might be an encouragement to the soul weary? If so, what are they?
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What do you like about Garrett’s church’s model of soul care? Can you think of anything that’s lacking? If so, what?
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Gary said they have over 7,000 people engaged in a church culture of caring for each other. His church’s model is based on embracing Christ, abiding in Him, and embracing a community that reflects His love. As you consider the best care for yourself, someone you know, or your church community, consider Jesus first. He calls His people to a place of rest, and there’s nowhere better to be.  


To find out more about the Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.