Got Stress?

In the past week have you felt…
… inadequate?

… overextended?

… strained?

… no sense of getting ahead?

… swamped by your responsibilities?

… that the odds were against you?

… that there wasn’t enough time to get to everything?

… like you were rushed?

… like you couldn’t cope?

… like you had a lot on your mind?

… powerless?

These are the questions one of many online “Stress Tests” asks to gauge just how burnt out, overtaxed, stressed out, and anxious you might be. If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, you probably qualify as “stressed”.

Any you aren’t alone… This kind of lifestyle seems to have reached epidemic proportions, with 63 percent of Americans reporting feeling stressed and more than a quarter citing a “great deal” of stress, according to a spring 2014 survey by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health. Study after study have shown the destructive effects of stress on mind, body, relationships, and yes, even our souls.

Yet rather than do everything we can to avoid stress and anxiety, we crave it, create it, and brag about it. Our bodies (not to mention our egos) seek the rush of adrenaline and dopamine released and we become stress “addicts”.  Then we wear our stress like a badge of honor, humble-bragging about how little sleep we got last night, how our weekend was spent racing to meet a deadline, and how we’re too busy to take a vacation.

We’ve conveniently ignored the words of Jesus and the commands of Scripture in what one author calls one of our “acceptable sins” within the church. Some might even wonder if it’s POSSIBLE to “…not be anxious about anything…”.

Philippians 4:6-9 gives us the answers and a promise. Slow down this Sunday and allow God to minister to your soul. There are physical, social, and spiritual issues behind anxiety that are all addressed by God’s prescription.  “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Yes, it is more than possible, it’s a promise!
grace and peace,