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The Word For Today

Overcoming stress 3



'I know where I came from and where I am going.' John 8:14 NIV

Know what you want to accomplish. Jesus said, 'I know where I came from and where I am going' (John 8:14 NIV). Can you say that too? Unless you plan your life and establish priorities, you'll be pressured by other people to do what they think is important. Every day you either live by priorities or you live by pressures. There's no other option. Either you decide what's important in your life or you let other people decide for you.

It's easy to operate under the tyranny of the urgent, to come to the end of your day and wonder, 'Have I accomplished anything at all? I used up a lot of energy and did a lot of things, but did I achieve anything important?' Busyness is not necessarily productivity. You may be spinning in circles but not accomplishing anything of real value. Preparation causes you to be at ease. Or to put it another way, preparation prevents pressure, whereas procrastination produces pressure. Good organisation and good preparation reduce stress because you know who you are, who you're trying to please, and what you want to accomplish. Having clearly defined goals simplifies life.

So spend a few minutes at the beginning of every day talking with God in prayer. Then look at your schedule for the day and decide: 'Is this really the way I want to spend a day of my life? Am I willing to exchange the next twenty-four valuable hours for these activities?' The right answer to those two questions will lower your stress level by helping you prioritise.

Soulfood: 2 Cor 11:16-33 2 Cor 12 2 Cor 13:1-14 Matt 25:31-40 Ps 19 Pro 21:3,

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Overcoming stress 2



'I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.' John 5:30 NIV

Know who you are trying to please. Jesus didn't try to please everybody, so isn't it foolish for you to try to do something even God doesn't do? It was a settled issue with Jesus: 'I'm going to please God, full stop!' And God replied, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).

When you lose sight of who you're trying to please you'll always cave in to three things: Criticism, because you're overly concerned about what others think of you. Competition, because you're afraid somebody will get ahead of you. Conflict, because you're threatened by anyone who disagrees with you. Jesus said, 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [overcoming the stress of criticism, competition and conflict], shall be added to you' (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). By focusing on God's will you simplify your life! You'll always be doing the right thing, the thing that pleases him, regardless of what anybody else thinks. We love to blame stress on other people and on our obligations: 'You made me do...I have to...I've got to.' Actually, there are few things in life apart from our jobs that we must do. So what we're really saying is, 'I choose to [fill in your obligation here] because I don't want to handle the consequences.' Rarely does anybody make us do anything, so we can't blame other people for our stress.

When we feel pressured, we're choosing to let others put us there. The fact is, we're not victims unless we allow ourselves to be pressured by outside demands.

Soulfood: 2 Cor 9:1-15 2 Cor 10 2 Cor 11:1-15 Matt 25:22-30 Ps 24 Pro 21:1-2,

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Overcoming stress 1



'"Who are you?" ...Jesus replied, "The one I have always claimed to be."' John 8:25 NLT

Jesus was constantly under pressure. There were gruelling demands on his time. He rarely had personal privacy and he was constantly interrupted. People repeatedly misunderstood, criticised and ridiculed him. He was under enormous stress, yet he remained at peace under pressure. How did he do it? He based his life on eight sound principles of stress management. So for the next week let's look at them and see what we can learn.

Know who you are. '"Who are you?" they demanded. Jesus replied, "The one I have always claimed to be"' (John 8:25 NLT). If you don't know who you are, others might try to tell you who they think you are. If you don't know who you are, you'll subconsciously let other people pressure you into believing you're somebody you're not. A lot of stress comes from our hiding behind masks, living double lives, being unreal with others, and trying to be somebody we're not. Insecurity always produces pressure in our lives; when we're insecure we feel coerced into performing and conforming. We set unrealistic standards for ourselves, and even though we work, work, work, we still can't meet them.

So what should you do? _Hlk14866129You must know who you are, and whose you are! You're a redeemed child of God, put on this earth not by accident but for a purpose. You are deeply loved and fully accepted by God. He has a plan for your life; therefore you are significant. To overcome stress you must know who you are, and until you deal decisively with this issue you'll be plagued by it._Hlk14866129

Soulfood: 2 Cor 5-8 Matt 25:14-21 Ps 78:65-72 Pro 20:26-30,

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