How Do We Handle Stress in a Biblical Way?
So why do we get stressed? We experience stress for countless reasons. Top causes of stress are work, finances, relationships, health, and media overload. So how do we deal with stress in a biblical manner? Christians are not immune to the pitfalls of life. It tends to hit us when we’re sick, overtired, overwhelmed, when we have taken on too many responsibilities, during moments of grief, when our circumstances spin out of control, or when our safety net or personal life falls apart and when relationships crumble—when our basic needs are not met.
We as followers of Christ believe God is sovereign and in control of our lives and he has given us all we need in order to live life abundantly. However, we also need to understand that when stress dominates our lives, it’s not because we’ve lost the ability to trust God. It’s because we aren’t armed with a game plan to counter stress. Just like the Bible instructs us with multiple ways to combat sin, we need to have a game plan for stress as well. Here are four tips to cultivate your own game plan to combat stress.
1. Admit There’s a Problem
Just as those who are familiar with the steps of AA, the first step to combating stress is admitting there is a problem. Sometimes it’s not easy to admit and you’re barely hanging on by a thread, but admitting we feel stress frees us from feeling trapped. However, it requires that we get honest with ourselves. Ignoring stress or pushing through it will have major negative consequences that will manifest in ways we won’t expect or aren’t equipped to handle. It requires humility and going to God. Psalm 32:2 says, "Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!"
Once we admit there is a problem, we can address it and get the help we need. Whether it’s through biblical counsel, seeing your doctor or asking your spouse or friend to help you evaluate what you need to eliminate from your life. Sometimes, it’s a combination of all three.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Ian Espinosa