by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Someone has said that, “Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.” It can overwhelm us, if we allow it to run rampant. We need to discuss stress in relation to our spiritual lives because it is a topic too often neglected.
Stress is natural to man and it will always be with us. However, we can control the beast. “Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.”/1
Everyone who has succumbed to the ravages of stress allowed it to happen, to an extent. Sadly, most do not understand the consequences of these failures.
As Christians, we spend a lot of time examining how we can grow spiritually. Yet, we are complete beings with physical, emotional and mental needs. If we neglect any of them, we are incomplete. We may need a more holistic approach to our Christian walk.
Christ will be with us and lead us by his Word (Hebrews 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We can lean on him to be our guide through choppy waters.
To become a Christian, we are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27) and we become a part of the Body of Christ, the Church (Acts 2:42, 47; Ephesians 1:22). We are transformed and we live for Christ and follow him daily (Ephesians 4:1; John 14:6; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 1:3).
This transformation means that we live by Christ’s law. Why would that only pertain to our spiritual walk? Christ needs to be the center of our entire existence. He does not need a long list of competitors in our lives.
We need to realize that our hearts and minds are finite places. The more we fill them, the more crowded they become. If worldliness dominates our lives, then there are other more important things without a place at the table. Stress is the same way. It can eclipse God in our lives.
If stress runs wild in our hearts, we spend more time thinking and dealing with it and we have less time to spend on God. The Lord’s light becomes dimmer because stress steals all of our energy and time.
“Stress is the trash of modern life — we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”/2
Scripture tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NKJV).
We need to pore over our lives and dig out as many stressors as we can find and begin to eliminate them. Today, we need to resume control of our lives, so we can return them to God.
Stress anchors us to this world and therefore we cannot have our hearts in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). Placing all of our priorities on spiritual things will lead us to live simpler lives by reducing our wants and reorienting our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). The trash of this world can push the throne of Christ out the door of our hearts.
Learn peace, relaxation and rest. Fill more time with prayer, Bible reading and meditation on its truths. We are here to do God’s will and to spread his glory, not our own (Ephesians 3:20-21). In the end, nothing else really matters.
We must take time to carefully examine our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical selves and remove any impurities that hurt our relationship with Christ. Our souls stand in the balance, so start immediately.
1/ Quote by Maureen Killoran http://tinyurl.com/6a6hmwb2/
2/ Quote by Danzae Pace http://tinyurl.com/4s7vl67
by Richard Mansel, managing editor