Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote in his book, Mastering Your Emotions, about a company which did a survey of its top executives relating to moral and stress. The report stunned the company owners. Twenty-one of the twenty- two-man executive committee were suffering from such illnesses as ulcers, high blood pressure, or depression, and their report pointed to one culprit—stress. “Stress can squeeze the life out of your years if you don’t know how to handle it.”
This is the day of the quick cash and the mad dash and what goes with them—stress.
Years ago we may have thought only executives were afflicted with stressful situations, but studies have shown that such unlikely professions as laborer, waitress, machine operator, miner, inspector, painter, hairdresser, meat cutter, plumber, and warehouse worker are fraught with stress. The clergyman is also considered to have a high-stress occupation. Even the housewives, who may not work outside the home, often have illnesses and breakdowns from stress.
These stressful conditions are leading to high blood pressure which can result in strokes or aneurysms, runaway heart disease, cancer, and mental illness—and death! The American Heart Association now estimates that fifty-five million American adults—and 2.7 million children—have high blood pressure. In 1985 only thirty-nine million were considered hypertensive.
It is not a sin to be stressed, not a sin to be weary, not a sin to run out of strength. It is a sin, though, not to seek a lessening of that stress which tears down the temple of the Holy Spirit, your body.
Now you may be stressful and weary for three basic reasons. Number one, you may be weary because of the plain demands of service. Even our Lord and Savior was weary. He understood what it was to be tired. In John 4, Jesus was worn out from His ministry in Judea.
Satan often waits until you are weary to oppose you spiritually. Many a Christian falls prey to the devil by neglecting his health, by burning the proverbial candle at both ends, by eating poorly, and failing to have enough rest and sleep. Maybe the expression, “I’d rather burn out than rust out,” sounds pious, but servants of Christ often use it as an excuse to abuse their God-given bodies.
I hope you know, stress does not need to defeat you. Now, in addition to the problem of stress, I want you to notice there is a promise of strength. (Isa. 40:31). The secret to wining over stress is waiting on the Lord.
I would like to give you some help as a Christian in dealing with the stress in your life. These are practical easy to follow ways for a Christian to reduce stress.
- Go to bed on time.
- Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
- Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.
- Delegate tasks to capable others.
- Simplify and un-clutter your life.
- Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
- Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
- Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
- Take one day at a time.
- Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
- Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
- Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
- K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
- Do something for the Kid in You every day.
- Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
- Get enough rest.
- Eat right.
- Get organized so everything has its place.
- Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
- Write down thoughts and inspirations.
- Every day, find time to be alone.
- Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
- Make friends with Godly people.
- Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
- Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.”
- Laugh some more!
- Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
- Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they
- Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most.
- Sit on your ego.
- Talk less; listen more.
- Slow down.
- Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
- Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.
Remember God’s promises and know, GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)