Stress. That one little word can cause so much harm. Harm to your body, harm to your mind and definitely harm to your life. I will admit it. I don’t handle stress well at all. I’m getting better at it, but I’m still not there. Pouring over God’s words and letting them settle in my heart has been the only way I have been able to deal with all the different things that can bring stress to my life. When I am stressed, or have not slept (that is a big one for me!), the word to describe me would be irritable. Is that how I want to be? Absolutely not. Is that how I end up acting when I am stressed? Absolutely. So let’s see what the Bible says about stess and how we can overcome it and be able to have a loving spirit and not a tired, cranky one!
Phillipians 4: 6-7 says:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So what does that mean? It means that instead of trying to handle things on your own, pray through them. When you become anxious, can’t figure a way out, don’t know how things will change, want thing to happen in your timing and not God’s and you don’t understand why it is taking so long, PRAY!
Colossians 3:12-14 says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity
This is a major one if when stress hits, you tend to lash out. I know I am guilty of this. This verse shows us the virtues we need to have as our goal. Avoid unnecessary arguments and instead be willing to forgive. Be slow to anger. Think before we speak.
Exodus 18: 17-21 says:
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
I really have to remember this verse! I think I might have to put it on sticky notes all around my house. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Now, that’s not to say that I should hand over things that are truly my responsibility to do, so that I don’t have to worry about anything, but it DOES means I need to pick and choose what I take on. Are you a ‘yes’ person? I used to be horrible at that. I am the type of person who wants to help anyone, especially family. Even if it meant I put my own, or my family’s best interests last. Not anymore. I will still be there to help where help is really needed, but God has made me realize that I cannot be there for everyone 24/7, nor should I be. What ended up happening was I was not living, I was doing. I was doing life and not leaving any time for God, except for Sunday mornings. Our God is not just a God for Sundays, He requires our daily attention. He deserves more than being delegated to one day a week.
Now to your love relationship. How has your irritability affected your relationship? Does it make you snap at your spouse when he says something to you? Our attitude toward each other should be from a place of love, not stress and anxiety.
If you are feeling stressed, pray about it, talk about it-with your spouse. Not with the neighborhood. Not with your friends. With your spouse. God brought the two of you together for a reason. Stress is one of the key factors that can lead to marital distress, make sure you continue to communicate.
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
At the end of the day, answer these questions:
1. Where do you need to add margin to your life?
2. When have you recently overreacted?
3. What was your real motivation behind it?
Congratulations! You have completed Day 6! Tomorrow’s dare is Love Believes the Best.